The 1st Church of Christ Scientist building on a 1911 Sanborn fire insurance map. - , Utah
1 January 1911
Theatre 138
(Unity Hall)

138 South 200 East
Salt Lake City, Utah 84111

(1966 - 1986)

Unity Hall, the first home of the Unitarian Society, was dedicated on Christmas Day 1904. The building, located at 138 South 200 East, was designed so it could also be used as a rental hall for other organizations. It was sold in 1926 and replaced with “a suitable church building” at 569 South 1300 East.[1]

In the early 1950s, Ariel Ballif, Tom Carlin, and Stu Falconer opened a small theater named The Renaissance in Richmond, VA. When Ballif took a teaching position at the University of Utah in 1962, Carlin and Falconer accepted jobs at Pioneer Memorial Theatre. In 1966, the three partners opened Theatre 138 in “an historical old churchhouse” at 138 South 200 East.[2] The first performance was an original play in 1967, This is the Place?[3]

As Salt Lake City’s first full-time, year-round “alternative” theater company, Theatre 138 presented nearly 300 productions, including 60 premieres of new plays. Mountain Fuel Supply purchased the property in 1986 and demolished the building to create a parking lot.[2] The last play presented by Theatre 138 in its original location was As If.[3]

Theatre 138 joined Walk-Ons Inc at the Center Stage Theatre on Highland Drive. After a year and a half of sharing the space, the building was sold and both theater companies dissolved.[2]

1. "First Unitarian Church of Salt Lake City records, 1891-2010", (Web Site), 4 June 2020
2. "Salt Lake’s first ‘alternative’ theater company", (Web Site), 3 March 2011
3. "Theater 138", (Web Site), 3 June 2020