Floyd Nielson and Sons opened the Frontier Theatre on the night of the San Juan High School junior prom in March 1958. The theater, located in front of the Kigalia Drive-In, was managed by Garda Nielson. The theater closed in 1974 and a few years later snow and ice “caved in the building.”
On 4 August 1986, the Blanding City Council wrote to the San Juan County Commission asking assistance with the “unsightly and unsafe structure just north of the Blanding City limits, known as the Frontier Theater.” The council considered the theater to be “a health hazard, area for public nuisance and deterrent to the City and County beautification.”
The Frontier Theater became more of a hazard after catching fire in July 1992. The owner called the county commissioner during the next week and stated that the theater was in the process of being demolished. Eight months later, the City of Blanding sent another letter to the San Juan County Commission “concerning the hazard of the Frontier Theater.” Concerned the county could be liable for an accident on the site, the commission decided to talk with the owners of the property and ask for an estimated completion date for the dismantling of the building.
In 2011, all that remained of the Frontier Theater were crumbling sidewalks, the concrete floor of the lobby, and the outline of the auditorium.
1. “The Early Movie Scene”, Blue Mountain Shadows, Volume 8, Summer 1991, page 35
2. “San Juan County Commission Minutes: August 11, 1986”, www.sanjuancounty.org, June 2011
3. “San Juan County Commission Minutes: July 6, 1992”, www.sanjuancounty.org, June 2011
4. “San Juan County Commission Minutes: July 13, 1992”, www.sanjuancounty.org, June 2011
5. “San Juan County Commission Minutes: March 22, 1993”, www.sanjuancounty.org, June 2011