Villa Theatre
3092 Highland Drive
Salt Lake City, Utah


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 Home  »  History  »  Dancing at the Villa?

Dancing at the Villa?

By Grant Smith, 26 August 2003

Near Ogden is a theater similar to the Villa.  The Cinedome 70 opened on 15 May 1970 and featured twin domed auditoriums, each with 800 seats and a large, deeply-curved screen.  After the theater closed in February 2001, a local businessman wanted to convert the building into a concert and dance hall - a private club with liquor license.  The Riverdale City Council and local residents expressed concern over the use of alcohol near a quiet residential area.1  The plan was apparently abandoned later.

Now a “night club / entertainment destination”2 is about to come to the Villa Theatre in Salt Lake.  Dancing, concerts, and alcohol will likely take the place of movies and popcorn.  But it won’t be because there was a shortage of people interested in operating the Villa as a theater.

In the last 7 months, Grant Smith of the web site has had contact with four different groups interested in the using the Villa as a movie theater.  Additional groups may have contacted the Utah Heritage Foundation or approached Harmons directly.

The only reason the Villa is about to become a private club is because this buyer was ready to act as soon as the theater closed.  Those interested in operating the Villa as a theater never even got the chance to try.

The Villa was built as a movie theater and that’s the function it’s best suited for.  It’s a shame to see the theater converted to an alternate use while there are still good opportunities for its continued use as a theater.

1. “Dancing at the Cinedome?”, Ogden Standard Examiner, 8 June 2001
2. “The Shops at the Villa Theatre”, a flyer from Prime Commercial