Digitized by: J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah
Date of photograph
August 27, 1921
Theaters, Resorts, Amusement Halls/Parks
Salt Lake City; Salt Lake County; Utah
132 South State Street
Wilkes Theater interior, finishing up lobby area. Aug. 27, 1921. Shipler Comm. Photog #21268
The Orpheum Theatre opened on Christmas Day 1905 as Salt Lake's first full-time vaudeville house. The 900-seat theater, an excellent example of Second Renaissance Revival", was designed by architect C.N. Neuhausen. A 12-foot statue of Venus tops its central section, while larger-than-life heads guard the front entry. The auditorium and main lobby have been refurbished several times. Except for the stage, little remains of the original building. An old unused hotel behind the auditorium used to house vaudeville performers.
In 1918, the theater was converted to show movies and was known by several names including the Casino, Orpheum, Wilkes, Roxey, Salt Lake, and Lyric. The Lyric had one of the first crying rooms in town, and even employed a registered nurse in its ladies room. In 1953 it was one of the first two theaters in Salt Lake to show widescreen movies with stereo sound.
In 1972, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints bought and restored the building for church plays, renaming it the Promised Valley Playhouse. In 1996 the theater closed because of structural problems."--from web page: http://utahtheaters.info/TheaterMain.asp?ID=97