Villa Theatre
3092 Highland Drive
Salt Lake City, Utah


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 Home  »  History  »  KSL News Story, 19 August 2003

KSL News Story

19 August 2003

Ed Yates:

The weeds are growing, the paint is fading, but not for long - if a pending sale of this historic building is finalized, perhaps as early as the end of this week.

This is what the Villa Theatre looks like now, inside - all the seats are gone, so is the magnificent Cinerama screen that was once in back of me. But this huge auditorium, though vacant, has not seen its day yet. In fact, the sounds of entertainment are about to return again.

While it won't be the menu the Villa grew up on in its heyday, it will be refurbished and restored for live stage productions, perhaps as another venue for, say, Salt Lake Community College productions. There could also be dancing out here, and more.

While the new owners would not tell us specifics, they say the building will become an entertainment center for a number of functions. But no matter what, the look, the feel, the facade, will all be preserved. In their words, one of the most remarkable projects they've worked on. There will be more development north and west of the building, but it will all revolve around this single icon, the Villa.

Reactions from the Utah Heritage Foundation:

Kirk Huffaker, Utah Heritage Foundation:
We think that this is a suitable use and has the potential to keep this national-register-eligible building in use, and open to the public.

And what about consumer-advocates like Grant Smith, who directs the Villa historical web site?

Grant Smith, Villa Consumer Advocate:
I'd rather see it as a movie theater, but I'm not going to object if they do something else that preserves the historical nature of the building.

Again, as we mentioned earlier, the sale could be finalized as early as the end of this week.  If so, the new owners say work on the Villa Theatre itself could begin within two weeks after that.