Grant Smith, 7 July 2003
Green-Briar Theatre8261 South Redwood Road
West Jordan, Utah
(1975 - 1986)
The Green-Briar Theater, built by John F. and LaRue Morrison Green in 1974, was a twin theater offering both movies and live performances. The theater had a 350-seat auditorium for motion pictures and a 300-seat auditorium for stage plays. A central lobby connected the two.
The Green-Briar was to be a family-oriented theater, showing only G and PG-rated movies and charging "nominal admission prices so that families may attend"1
The opening of the Green-Briar Theater followed five years of planning and was the realization of a life-long ambition. The Greens chose the West Jordan location because there were no theaters in the area and because it was the fastest growing area in the Salt Lake valley.
The opening night of the Green-Briar Theater, 1 January 1975, turned into disaster when patrons were told to leave the theater shortly before the performance of "Babes in Toyland" was to begin.
West Jordan City Manager Glendon Leak, accompanied by a West Jordan police officer and a county sheriff's deputy, ordered the Greens to close the theater for failure to obtain a business license. A building and zoning enforcement report and a Salt Lake County Fire Department inspection had listed 32 corrections that needed to be made prior to obtaining the license.
The closure "created a controversy among parents of the children participating in the play. The parents said the children spent hundreds of hours rehearsing and purchased costumes and scripts for the play, only to have the show closed at the last minute."2
The opening night of the Green Briar Theater was originally scheduled for 27 December 1974, but was apparently later pushed back to New Year's Day.
In the later years of its operation, both theaters of the Green-Briar were used to show discount movies. After the theater closed it was used for a time as an apartment complex. A later remodel included a large addition and converted the building into retail space.1. "New theater will feature both movies and plays", Deseret News , 22 November 1974 , Page 4A
2. "'Redesign,' Theater Ordered", Salt Lake Tribune , 11 January 1975 , Page 3B
"New theater opens 'Toyland' Friday", Salt Lake Tribune , 22 December 1974 , Page 8E
"Rule Halts Showing", Salt Lake Tribune , 02 January 1975 , Page D9