Provo adds new dinner theater to performing arts menu
Daily Herald, 24 March 2004
Center Street Musical Theatre and Performing Arts opened on 8 April 2004 with its production of "The Pirates of Penzance." The new 300-seat musical dinner theater occupies 19,000 square feet in the former J.C. Penney building in dowtown Provo.
The Center Street Musical Theatre is the fulfillment of a 15-year dream of owners Gavin and Sharilyn Grooms, who invested $50,000 and signed a $600,000 lease option.
The performing arts center, which has three dance studios, a recital hall, and a voice studio, will offer voice and dance classes and workshops. The building will also be available to rent for wedding receptions, concerts, business luncheons, and conventions.
One of the building's rooms has been converted into a family area so the Grooms can be with their seven children as much as they can during evening performances.
In February 2004 the 70-year-old SCERA theater and movie house laid off five full-time employees, citing a need to use funds more efficiently.
The Grove Theatre in Pleasant Grove has struggled since its opening in April 2003. Owner Gayliene Omary organized Friends of the Grove to plan benefit concerts and other fund-raising events to help the dinner theater stay in business. A lack of funding has caused the Grove Theatre to cancel its next two shows and the theater will have to close its doors permanently if it does not receive funding soon.
The late Ruth Hale and her family turned a small, family-run California performing venue into a chain of theaters that operate in California, Utah and Arizona.