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Cinedome 70
1481 West Riverdale Road
Riverdale, Utah
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Ivins, Utah

After moving to St. George, Doug Stewart began thinking about creating an outdoor theatrical venue to provide night entertainment for the three million visitors to Zion National Park. Through his efforts, the Heritage Arts Foundation was established and construction on the Tuacahn Amphitheater and Center for the Performing Arts began. The 1,920-seat amphitheater opened on 5 April 1995 with a performance by the Utah Symphony and was dedicated by LDS President Gordon B. Hinckley three days later.

 
 
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The marquee of the Cinedome 70 at twilight, with bright clouds in the background and rows of vintage cars in the foreground.

Courtesy of Mark Tullis
Date: 1970

Cinedome 70
(Cinedome 70 Twin Theatres)
 
1481 West Riverdale Road
Riverdale, Utah
 
Status:
Demolished 
Auditoriums:
Total Seats:
1600 
Open:
15 May 1970  
Closed:
6 February 2001  
Demolished:
18 October 2010  
 

The Cinedome 70 Twin Theatres, "Utah's Newest Luxury Theatre", opened on 15 May 1970. Opening day shows were Peter Sellers and Johnny Ringo in The Magic Christian and Krakatoa, East of Java in 70mm 6 track stereophonic sound.[1]

The Cinedome was fashioned after the Century Theatres in Salt Lake City. A lobby with "waterfall" ceiling fixtures and live organ music connected two dome-shaped auditoriums. Each theater had 795 "rocking chair" seats and stadium seating in a dome 110 feet in diameter and 60 feet high.
[1 & 2]

Black and white photo of the front of the Cinedome from across the parking lot.  Above the lobby are the words

"Cinedome 70, Ogden's new all-electric, twin-dome movie theater at 1481 West Riverdale Road."
Cinedome 70, Riverdale, Utah
Ogden Standard Examiner, Page 14D
Date: 17 May 1970

The words 'Cinedome 70' appear in large capital letters, with 'Twin' in small letters in the middle of 'C' in Cinedome.  Below the name is a drawing of the twin domes, with the address and phone number.

The Cinedome 70 logo in 1971.
Cinedome 70, Riverdale, Utah
Ogden Standard Examiner
Date: 16 April 1971


Its generous aisles running along each side of the auditoriums were perfect for parents trying to calm fussy babies; they could stand while cradling the child and watch the movie at the same time. And the screens were huge. Not just big. Huge."[3]

The theater's four projectors were the first in the Ogden area capable of showing both 70mm and 35mm films. The six-track sound systems utilized 10 speakers behind each screen, for "accurate reproduction for film productions with stereophonic sound".
[4]

One of the four projectors of the Cinedome 70 Twin Theatres.

"Four unusual projectors, as shown, project both 70 and 35 mm films at Cinedome 70."
Cinedome 70, Riverdale, Utah
Ogden Standard Examiner, Page 14D
Date: 17 May 1970

Looking across one of the auditoriums of the Cinedome.  Along the back walls is a large glass window with two projectors visible in the booth.

"Cinedome 70 features two theaters.  Each theater seats an audience of 800 persons."
Cinedome 70, Riverdale, Utah
Ogden Standard Examiner, Page 14D
Date: 17 May 1970



The Cinedome was also the first theater in Utah, Idaho, Colorado, and Wyoming to feature an all-electric air conditioning and heating system, "providing maximum comfort and convenience" for patrons.
[4]

The original owners of the Cinedome were Roy Tullis, Darrell Tullis, and L. Ray Hansen, all of the Ogden area.|4| Darrell Tullis and Ray Hansen died in a 1975 airplane crash. The families continued to operate the theater until it was leased to Plitt Theaters in 1985.
[2] The Cinedome later passed to Cineplex Odeon and finally Loews Cineplex Entertainment Corp.

2001 Closure


The Cinedome 70 closed on 5 February 2001 after the Tullis and Hansen families terminated their contract with Loews Cineplex. The families hoped to find a new independent operator and to keep the theater from being caught up in the theater chain's bankruptcy proceedings.
[2]

Nancy Tullis said, "We're currently negotiating with some folks who would like to take over the theaters... Movie theaters are a troubled industry these days, and the Cinedome is so unique it may be impossible to operate it successfully... It would be very sad for me if we had to close [permanently]."
[2]

Rock 'n' Rodeo


Three months later, Travis Izatt, owner of The Outlaw club, presented plans to the Riverdale City Council to turn the Cinedome into the "Rock 'n' Rodeo", a concert and dance hall. The private club would have a country music club in one dome and hip-hop and rock in the other. The 70-foot movie screens would be left in place to show second-run movies during the week.
[5]

"There's no where in Utah that will be able to touch what we would be capable of doing." Izatt said. "We've been trying to come up with a building for years." From a visibility and marketing standpoint, the Cinedome is incredible.
[5]

The Riverdale City Council, however, questioned the mixture of alcohol and a quiet neighborhood. Izatt thought the real issue was visibility, saying, "They don't want a concert hall to be the first thing people see when they come to Riverdale."[5]

1. Newspaper ads, Ogden Standard Examiner, 15 May 1970, 5C
2. "Cinedome shuts its doors in Riverdale", Deseret News, 2/13/2001
3. "Cinedome Goes Dark, A Generation Mourns", Ogden Standard Examiner, 12 February 2001
4
. "See It Now... Cinedome 70, Ogden's New Futuristic All-Electric Movie Theater", Ogden Standard Examiner, 17 May 1970, 14D
5. "Dancing at the Cinedome?", Ogden Standard Examiner, 6/8/2001