Utah Supreme Court Holds Theater Public Building

Salt Lake Tribune, 1 December 1921, page 24
The decision of Judge L. B. Wight of the Third district court was reversed yesterday in an opinion handed down by the supreme court in the case of the state of Utah against the Swanson theater circuit.  The case had to do with the ventilation of certain parts of the Gem theater as prescribed by law for bublic buildings and the question at issue was as to whether or not a theater is a public building.

When the case came up for trial before City Judge Ben Johnson several months ago, he ordered its dismissal upon a demurrer interposed by the defendant in which the contention was made that a theater was not a public building.

The question was appealed by the state board of health to the district court, where Judge Wight sustained a similar demurrer.  The case was then taken to the supreme court by the state health board.

In reversing the decision, it is held courts do not and cannot adhere to a hard and fast rule with respect to what may be included within the term "public buildings" where the term is used in a particular act.

"In view that in our judgement," the ruling concludes, "all buildings used as theaters clearly come within the meaning of the term public buildings as that term is used in the act.  It is unnecessary to pursue the subject further.  It is therefore ordered that the judgment of the district court sustaining the demurrer to the complaint and dismissing the same be, and the same is, hereby reversed."