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$400,000 Hyland Project Newest Theater Remodeling

Deseret News, 17 July 1961, page B3
Although it means a lot, the show isn't the whole thing in attracting audiences to theaters. Clean and up-to-date showhouses and drive-ins are a big factor, Salt Lake area showmen declare.

Many of them are backing their opinion with action and thousands of dollars.

This year is developing into one of the biggest in the area's history in the matter of remodeling and improvements at indoor and outdoor theaters.

In the latest announcement of remodeling plans, Sero Amusement's Utah branch manager, Michael Pilaris, notes that $400,000 is being spent to make the Hyland Drive-in one of the most modern in the country. The outdoor theater will have twin screens, asphalt parking area, new refreshment and snack bar, new playground and restrooms and modern projection equipment before the current project is completed.

The company's Redwood Drive-in recently was completely remodeled at a cost of $200,000. This, and a policy of showing as many family pictures as possible, have helped boost the drive-in's business considerably, Mr. Pilaris said.

The Villa Theater, which veteran showman have called one of the most beautiful showhouses in the country, is being remodeled for the third time in five years to allow exhibition of Cinerama. This project, also expected to cost several thousand dollars, involves installation of a new screen and three projection booths, plus other improvements.

The Fox circuit, which operates the Villa, also has completed remodeling of the Uptown and South East in Salt Lake and theaters in Ogden and Provo.

In all cases, the latest projection and sound equipment and new screens have been installed. At the South East and Uptown, boxoffices have been moved from the street to the inside lobby along with the other improvements.

When "Ben-Hur" opened in Salt Lake, a little more than a year ago, the Centre Theater underwent remodeling of screen and projection equipment, along with installation of new carpeting and repainting.

Intermountain Theaters, Inc., which operates the Centre, also has carried on refurbishing work at its older showhouses, including the Utah, the Studio and Capitol, and has installed a new snack bar at its Motor-Vu Drive-In.