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Davis Drive-In
1334 North Main
Layton, Utah
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Utah Theatre
Salt Lake City, Utah

In April 1968, Intermountain Theatres announced plans to divide the Utah Theatre into the state's first two-screen theater complex.  The original auditorium, which seated 1765, was divided by adding a floor from the balcony to the proscenium arch.  The new upper-level theater was known as the Penthouse and included the rows of balcony seating and the original, ornate ceiling.

 
 
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An aerial view of the Davis Drive-In in 1997.  The theater was located on the other side of I-15 from the Layton Hills mall.  The theater was demolished to make way for new development.

Courtesy of the U.S. Geological Survey
Date: 4 October 1997

Davis Drive-In
1334 North Main
Layton, Utah
 
Status:
Demolished 
Auditoriums:
Total Cars:
1800 
Open:
1950  
Split:
About 1973  
Closed:
October 1991  
Demolished:
About November 1992  
 
The Davis Drive-In opened in 1950.1

In March 1958 the Davis Drive-In was the first theater bought by Tony Rudman, Sr., who later helped found the Trolley Theatres and Westates Theatres chains.

Two months after his father bought the Davis Drive-In, Tony Rudman Jr. was born.  As a boy, TJ's job was to patrol the drive-in.  "Sneaky teens clambering out of car trunks would freeze in the beam from Tony's flashlight."2

On the Fourth of July the Rudmans would entertain audiences at the Davis Drive-In with fireworks.  "We'd shoot 'em into an alfalfa field," Tony Rudman, Jr. Recalls. "We'd always set it on fire, and always had the fire department there to put it out. It was a great way to grow up."2

In the spring of 1991 the Davis Drive-In opened for its final season.  Believing that the 23-acre site was worth more as prime commerical property than as a drive-in, the Rudmans put the theater up for sale.  At the time drive-in had two screens, with a capacity of 800 to 900 cars each.1

In November 1992 developers demolished the Davis Drive-In to make the site more attractive to a potential buyer.3


1. "Curtain Set to Fall on Davis Drive-In", Deseret News, 10 April 1991, page B4
2. "With eight new screens going up in Providence, the Force is with Westates Theatres", Herald Journal , 25 August 2002
3. "Davis Drive-In Will Be Demolished", Deseret News, 18 November 1992, page B1