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Villa Theatre

3092 South Highland Drive
Salt Lake City, Utah
villatheatre.com
(1949 - 2003)
Alternate Use

Guestbook

Name

28 October 2010
Name
Kerry G
Location
Salt Lake
I came across this by chance. I worked at the Villa in college, during what I consider its second Golden Years. I started the weekend that Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade opened and worked there for 4 years. My biggest regret is I didnt keep an archive of the lobby wall-art and entry-marque art I traced out via overhead projector, and painted when we had Disney films, such as Little Mermaid, Fantasia, and the like. Have you ever come across any photos of that? Thanks for the memories and having this website!

5 August 2010
Name
Keith Eubank
Location
Bountiful, UT
This is a great site!! My Dad took me to the Villa to see Raiders of the Lost Ark and I never forgot the experience. Thanks to whoever has spent time doing the research, making this site and keeping it up. Nice job!

26 October 2009
Name
Rhea Bel-Jon
Location
New York
Thank you so much for maintaining the site. I have been trying to trace some of my fathers art that he created for movie theaters in the 1940s and so many are gone without a trace. It was a pleasure to see history treasured.

18 September 2009
Name
Thomas Mohrlang
Location
Southern Idaho
Thank you for maintaining this website. It brought back many memories of yesteryear. The first show I saw in the Villa was "How the West Was Won". It used the three projector process. I was as fascinated by the three projection beams in the auditorium as by the show. Years later I saw "2001 A Space Odyssey" there. That was a one projector system and was an amazing experience. The Villa was one of the nicest theatres I have ever visited, and I am grateful it still lives on here on the Internet.

11 September 2009
Name
Garth Wilson
Location
Garth Wilson
May thanks to Hamid Adib for his efforts to restore the Villa. I have may memories of driving to SLC during the Utah State Fair and going to the Villa on Sat night and then visiting the fair on Sun.

8 October 2008
Name
Erick Peterson
Location
Salt Lake City
Hi. I just got through looking at your pictures of the Villa. Here’s some completely useless information for you. There were only two projectors and one spotlight in the booth, never four. When a Cinerama show was run, the #2 machine was disconnected and rolled into a corner of the booth and the center Cinerama machine was put in it's place. When the Villa opened it had two Simplex E-7 projectors. The Todd AO projectors that replaced the Simplex machines were installed for “Around the World in 80 Days”. Those machines actually came from a theatre in Kansas City. When three panel Cinerama was given up on, a pair of Century JJ-2 projectors made for Cinerama 70 were installed. These projectors were put in for “It’s a Mad Mad Mad World”. The Todd AO projectors then went to the Southeast and eventually to the Cottonwood Mall. When Mann Threatres got rid of the Union Projectionists, a platter was installed and one of the Todd AO machines came back from the Cottonwood, which also got a platter. When the louvered screen was put in somebody didn’t measure right and it was too long height wise. The strips were supposed to attach to the screen frame, both top and bottom, with springs. Since the strips were too long, the bottom was just thumbtacked down. This worked OK until we ran “Rollercoaster”. The picture was in Sensurround and the linear transducers were located behind the screen on the floor. When the sound track really started to rumble it had a nasty habit of blowing some of the strips loose. Shortly thereafter, a single sheet screen was installed. A fellow by the name of John L. Dobson worked the Villa as head projectionist from the day that it opened until Mann Theatres fired all of us Union Projectionists. I worked there with John for about fifteen years.

31 July 2008
Name
Marianna Plummer
Location
NY
I can't THANK YOU enough for creating this site which enabled me to walk down memory lane when I dearly needed to ... I lived very near the Villa Theatre from 1959-1978 and have so many fond memories of going there as a child up through my teens (and perhaps beyond - can't recall now!!) but I do always remember driving by there on Highland Drive. I just thought it would always be there. To learn that it has not only fallen subject to the mini-plex mania but to the ultimate blow of theatre death really brought a tear to my eye. I am grateful to the new owner for leaving the sign in tact, which is wonderful, but I don't think I could ever venture inside. I'd like to remember it as it was ... I remember walking atop the flagstone planter and then jumping off - oh what a feat that was when you are 8 years old!! I also read on another post that downtown the Centre Theatre has actualy been TORN DOWN!! OMG. What are they thinking?? One day they will wish they had truly preserved some of these treasures of decades gone by in Salt Lake City. Our world is moving all too fast today and if we don't stop to remember and sometimes be able to see and to appreciate how were, we're in a lot of trouble and sadly will miss out on a lot. Life is short and the art is long ... Thank you again for sharing your wonderful site. You have satiated a homesickness hunger for me in ways you cannot imagine.

13 April 2008
Name
Gregory G. Stangal
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
Here in Phoenix, Az. we lost the great Cine' Capri Theate, which was a lot like the Villa. I hope this wonderful theatre can return to all its glory.

11 July 2007
Name
Brian Gross
Location
Brian
I saw this theater and it was beautiful, the way a theater should be then I saw what it has become today and it brought a tear to my eye I hate when people say they wish to preserve something and they don't I will just say this if the Villa was preserved there would be a screen on that wall not a rug.

8 July 2007
Name
Andrey
Location
http://muromec.100freemb.com
The best site! Lexus chicago

8 July 2007
Name
Andrey
Location
http://muromec.100freemb.com
The best site! Lexus chicago

4 July 2007
Name
Freda Smith
Location
F. Smith
I loved the Villa my entire life. I have many many many FOND memories of going there. I went there recently to buy rugs and I literally cried as I walked into the main theatre area. It was like a death in the family. I am glad it is still standing and it has been renovated and redecorated very well. It is worth going there just to see the change, but take your Kleenex box because it was really really sad!

22 June 2007
Name
Abbey Becton
Location
Salt Lake City
This is another theater in Salt Lake that I'd buy if money were no object. A rug gallery? Oh the horrors! It was bad enough when the Centre theater was torn down, but to have the Villa with it's balcony made into a carpet store? At least the building is still intact and I'm sure the owner's thoughts/heart is in the right place. Thanks for this site, many memories. One of the first movies I went to with my ex-husband was at the Villa--Pink Floyd the Wall!! Yikes! How eighties!

19 March 2007
Name
Laury Smith
Location
Laury Smith
I have always loved the Villa theater. I happened upon this site today while I was sitting at home thinking about my darling aunt Connie that worked there for what seems to me a life time taking tickets. I remember being a little girl and every time we would drive by the theater I would see my beautiful aunt in the ticket booth with her lovely smile on her face greeting each customer. She is in the hospital today, seriously ill, and it was a blessing to me to be able to come to this site and remember her warm smile and a time when her health was not a burden to her. Thank you for sharing.

23 January 2007
Name
Ticktock
Location
This is among the very best, most exhaustive theater sites I've seen. Thanks SO much, particularly to Grant Smith for the photos. There's something ineffably romantic about hidden, disused and abandoned movie theater stage equipment: the draperies, motors and cables, rigging, even the old screens. I just love all the backstage shots on this site. A question: Did the Villa originally have a title curtain? That appears to be the case in the pre-opening shot (the mayor onstage), in which the main curtain is apparently raised, but a curtain is in place behind the mayor. Does anyone know? Again, thanks so much for this very romantic (best word I can find) site. Tick.

13 November 2006
Name
Jeremy
Location
Salt Lake City
I grew up in the house next to Crowne Burger. Villa was always the place for our family to check out movies. I really appreciate all the images you have provided. They've also proven to be very helpful with an assignment in my photoshop class. We've been given the task of recreating a picture of a neon sign. One of the greatest right here!

13 August 2006
Name
Jerry Meik
Location
Plymouth Michigan
I have many fond memories of the Villa Theater. First job ever was that of an usher at The Villa working my way up to head usher and doorman. It was exciting being a doorman at the premiers of South Pacific and Windjammer. The theater managers during that period were Mr. Frisby. Mr. Kirkmeyer and Dick Krebs was the assistant mgr. All of which were in some of the photos on this site. Every time im in Salt Lake I drive by to see the theater. I was very sorry to see it close.

6 August 2006
Name
Simon Overton
Location
Santa Ana, California
My wife, Kathleen, and I spent numerous hours at the Villa. This was a magnificent movie palace with a lot of history. The reason it's selling carpets now instead of movie seats, can be blamed, for NO other reason, than on the movie-going public. They were too lazy to go that one extra mile. Instead, they had to go to another multiplex to see the same film. Multiplexes are killing the single screen movie houses, like Starbucks are "the place to be seen" rather than a (dying) mom & pop coffee shop. I hope they all fail from over breeding! As for me... you won't see [me] in a multiplex!!!

4 March 2006
Name
hyht
Location
USA
I really appreciate your website. Thanks!

1 March 2006
Name
Fifa
Location
USA
Very good site! Thanks!


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