Lamoni Call opened the Surprise Theatre on 12 May 1909, about three months after the Bountiful Opera House was destroyed by fire. The Surprise Theatre was “centrally located.” The opening night was well attended and “the machinery and everything worked like a charm.”
After its first month in business, the Surprise Theatre added additional showings on Thursday and Monday to help alleviate crowded houses on Wednesday and Saturday.
In July 1910, a company incorporated and raised three-fouths of the stock necessary to buy and enlarge the Surprise Theatre. The building would have been lengthened to 110 feet, increasing the seating capacity from 200 to 500. A “strictly modern” stage would be added, “sufficiently large to accommodate the best traveling troupes that visit small towns.”
1. “Bountiful Briefs”, Davis County Clipper, 14 May 1909, page 8
2. “Big Crowds at Surprise Theatre”, Davis County Clipper, 18 June 1909, page 1
3. “Surprise Theatre”, Davis County Clipper, 8 July 1910, page 1