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165 South Main Street
Monticello, Utah  84535
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San Juan Theatre
Blanding, Utah

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.

 
 
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An advertisement for Jack Holt in <span style='font-style: italic;'>Avalanche</span>, at the L. D. S. Church on Monday night.

San Juan Record, page 4
Date: 29 May 1930

Monticello Ward
165 South Main Street
Monticello, Utah 84535
 
Status:
Alternate Use 
Open:
Mid 1920s  
Closed:
After 1930  
 

By the mid 1920s, a booth with two projectors was built at the back of the LDS chapel. “While one roll of film was running, the projectionist placed the next roll on the other machine.” Chester Black operated the machines, with Donald Evans as assistant.[1]

Evans also helped announce the films. He recalls, “Marvin Dalton announced the title of the show and the name of the actor or actors with a megaphone during the afternoon and evening before it started. Later Marvin gave up the job and I took over. I borrowed a megaphone which came off a broken photograph belonging to the Adams' family. I would pause at every second corner on the outer perimeter of town and call out, 'Show tonight at the church house.'”[1]


1. “The Early Movie Scene: Monticello”, by Donald Evans, Blue Mountain Shadows, Volume 8, Summer 1991, page 35