(Plaza Theatre, Valley Twin Theatres, Tu Cine)
4140 West 5415 South
Groundbreaking for the Plaza, the first theater in Kearns, was on Saturday, 11 January 1964. The theater had 950 seats and was built with three projection rooms "so that it will be possible to show Cinerama if the demand demonstrates that such an operation would be profitable."|1|
The Plaza may never have shown Cinerama, but it was the only theater in Utah that was built for the 3-projector Cinerama process. The Villa Theatre was modified for Cinerama about 12 years after it opened and the Century 21, which was to have a curved screen for Cinerama,|2| would have been built for the single-projector Cinerama process.
In 1977, the Plaza Theater closed for several weeks as the original auditorium was split in two. On 24 August 1977, the theater reopened as the Valley Twin Cinema.|3| The larger auditorium had 500 seats and the center projection booth. The smaller auditorium had 290 seats and used the right Cinerama projection booth. Like the Plaza, the Valley Twin showed second-run films.
In the late 1980s or early 1990s, the larger auditorium of the Valley Twin was split into four, and the theater was renamed "Cinemas 5." The new arrangement had two auditoriums next to the lobby and then a long hall going back to the other two auditoriums. The 290 seat theater became the largest and was later equipped with DTS Digital.
After the Cinemark 24 at Jordan Landing and the Carmike Ritz 15 opened in the late 1990s, Cinemas 5 changed from a second-run theater to a dollar theater. In about January 2001, Cinemas 5 closed. Initially the sign said "Closed for remodeling." The theater reopened ocassionally on weekends for live entertainment.
In May 2002, the theater reopened as Tu Cine, showing English-language films with Spanish subtitles and occasionally Spanish-language films with English subtitles. Despite the name change, the theater was sometimes referred to as "Tu Cine / Cinemas 5".
1. "Kearns To Have First Theater", Deseret news, 10 January 1964, page 8A
2. "Roof Going On 'Round Theater Job", Salt Lake Tribune, 2 August 1967, page B10
3. "Theater to open with 2 sides", Salt Lake Tribune, 22 August 1977, page C7