LeRay Alexander, a school teacher and World War II veteran, opened the first commercial movie theater in Blanding on 23 August 1946, despite opposition and competing plans from local leaders. Dr. Wesley R. Bayles helped fund the $11,000 showhouse. Over 60 years later, the San Juan Theatre continues bring movies to the county it was named after.
The Academy Theater was built in the late 1930s by Joseph L. Lawrence
and David K. Edwards, who also built the Villa, Southeast, and Murray
Theaters in the Salt Lake area. The building may have been a skate rink
or the main office of a utility company before it became a theater. Carmike
Cinemas closed the theater on 10 September 1998 after opening a new 12-plex
in the same general area.