The marquee of the Cinedome 70 at twilight, with bright clouds in the background and rows of vintage cars in the foreground. - , Utah
Cinedome 70
(Cinedome 70 Twin Theatres)

1481 West Riverdale Road
Riverdale, Utah

(1970 - 2001)

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]

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]

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. "Advertisements", Cinedome 70 (Riverdale), Ogden Standard Examiner, 15 May 1970, page 5C
2. "Cinedome shuts its doors in Riverdale", Deseret News, 13 February 2001, page B7
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", Cinedome 70, 17 May 1970, page 14D
5. "Dancing at the Cinedome?", Ogden Standard Examiner, 8 June 2001