- Large curved screen.
The Villa has a 78-foot curved screen, with an arc of 146 degrees -
nearly a half circle. If you sit in the front middle section
you have to turn your head from side to side to see the whole screen,
yet you're still a comfortable distance from it. It makes
you feel like you are in the movie! It's not an experience
that can be duplicated by any of the mildy "curved" screens
that are installed in theaters today.
More Info: History
of the Villa's Screen
- Largest theater in Utah.
When the Villa opened in 1949 it had about 1300 seats. The
installation of Cinerama in 1961 left the theater with less than 1000
seats. The theater currently as about 978 seats. The
second-largest theater in the Salt Lake area is Trolley Corners #1,
with about 800 seats. The Scera theater in Orem has 756 seats.
- Only first-run, single-screen theater.
The Villa is the last first-run, single screen theater left in the Salt
Lake area. The Centre closed in 1989 and was demolished to
make way for a office tower and a generic 6-screen theater. The
Regency closed a couple years later and was remodeled into an office
- 52 Years Old.
Built in 1949, the Villa is currently 52 years old. The
Tower is the oldest movie theater still in operation in Salt Lake. The
Avalon is also older than the Villa, but mostly does live entertainment
now. The are a number of other older theaters that are either
vacant or have been converted to other uses.
In 1961 the Villa was equipped for Cinerama, the first widescreen
process for movies. Cinerama used a three-projector system
to display a widescreen image on the Villa's new 96-foot curved screen.
Cinerama filmed an area 146 degrees wide by 55 degrees high, approximately
the scope of the human eye. The result was a feeling of depth
that made the viewers feel like they were inside the movie. In
1963, there were over 160 Cinerama theaters in the United States. There
are only a handful today.
- 70mm capability.
The Villa is one of the three remaining 70mm-equipped movie theaters
in the Salt Lake area. The other two theaters are Trolley
Corners #1 and the largest screen at Cottonwood Mall. The
Superscreen at Jordan Commons shows large-format 70mm films and The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints shows 70mm church films
in its Legacy theater next to Temple Square.
The side walls of the auditorium are covered with large murals done
by artists employed by R. Ashby Eccles of San Francisco. The
murals were done in light pale colors against a dark red background,
in French impressionistic style. According to the opening
day ad, the murals include a "vast fishing scene" with "figures
of women at work in agricultural pursuits and men fishing". Poor
lighting in the auditorium make it difficult to see the murals today.
- Stadium Seating.
The Villa has had stadium seating since it opened in 1949.
- Dolby Digital sound.
A new Dolby Digital sound system was installed during the renovation