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Scooter's Theater
290 West Main Street
Hyrum, Utah
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Surprise Theatre
Bountiful, Utah

Lamoni Call opened the Surprise Theatre on 12 May 1909. The theater did so well that a company organized a year later to buy and enlarge the theater to 500 seats. A stage was to be added, "sufficiently large to accommodate the best traveling troupes that visit small towns."

 
 
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Scooter's Theater features a covered entry and a roof that sloped down from the right to the left.  On the front facade, above the entrance, are two sets of windows.

Photographer: Grant Smith
Date: 26 November 2004

Scooter's Theater
(Scooter's Theater, South Valley Center)
 
290 West Main Street
Hyrum, Utah
 
Status:
Closed 
Open:
Before 1996  
Closed:
8 August 1999  
 
When Scott Webb closed Scooter's Theater in August 1999 he vented his frustration at the local community by putting the words "Go to hell" on the theater marquee.

"I have closed three times in the past three years. This time I received some promises and commitment from people within the community that they want to keep it open. So I decided to have a go at it again," Webb said.1

Webb built Scooter's Theater because experts said Hyrum was a high-growth potential area. Despite the construction of 400 new homes in the area, Webb never had a month where he made money.

Webb says his commitment to not show R-rated movies also hurt business. "I said from the get-go that I would close the doors if it meant showing R films."1

Webb gave the community what they said they wanted: good, clean family movies at discount prices and without having to drive all the way to Logan.

An editorial which appeared in the Herald Journal said of the theater's closing, "What the buying public says it wants and what it really wants are often two different things, and no amount of lip service to thoughtful consumption or local business loyalty is going to keep a cash register jingling in the face of this brutal marketplace reality."2

Webb says he put the blunt message on the sign because he was frustrated that he had to close. "They can sell out a theater in Logan for $6 a person, and I can't get 10 people to come for $1.50," Webb said.1 The message was removed after only a few hours.

In 2001 the former Scooters movie theater was used for drug-free raves or "techno parties".3

In 2003 the building was known as the South Valley Center, which occasionally offered live music.4


1. "Hyrum businessman vents frustration", Herald Journal , 8 August 1999
2. "Our view: A larger plot at work behind theater's fate", Herald Journal , 18 August 1999
3. "Rave ...The Cache Valley version, that is; or should it be called a techno party?", Herald Journal , 06 May 2001
4. "Hot Spots: New venues create new opportunities for local musicians", Herald Journal , 26 July 2003utah