KSL News Story
19 August 2003
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