Salt Lake School District opened South High School in the fall of 1931. After the school closed in 1988, it was purchased by the Salt Lake Community College and reopened in 1990 as the SLCC South City Campus.
The Grand Theatre opened in May 1991 with a production of Lerner and Loewe's "Camelot". Robert Peterson, who performed in the original Broadway cast, reprised his role of King Arthur. In his review for the Deseret News, Ivan M. Lincoln said, "to borrow the lyrics from another great Broadway team (Rodgers and Hammerstein), an evening at this show is, indeed, 'a grand night for singing.' The cast for this timeless favorite is a mix of professional, semi-professional and student talent... While the good folks of Camelot may be wondering 'what the King is doing tonight' - what you should be doing tonight is ordering tickets for the remaining performances of 'Camelot.'"
The 1,700-seat auditorium features intricate tile work and delicately carved moldings. During the renovation, artists restored hand-painted floral designs over the doorways leading into the auditorium from the marble-floored foyer. Improvements made during the renovation included a new box office, air conditioning, a computerized lighting system, and new sound equipment designed for the theater's excellent acoustics. The backstage area had enlarged dressing rooms and an expanded area for costume storage and scenery construction. A storage area on the south side of the stage remained untouched to preserve old autographs from South High student performers.
Explaining how the theater received its name, Pat Davis, artistic director for college's Salt Lake Community Arts Center, said, "Someone was visiting the auditorium recently and commented, 'What a grand theater!'"
1. "History", www.the-grand.org, April 2011
2. "'Camelot' Makes a Grand Opener for New Theater", Deseret News, 27 May 1991, page C7
3. "Landmark Auditorium at Old South High Will Have a Regal Reopening with 'Camelot'", Deseret News, 19 May 1991, page E1