Piece of Cinema Legacy Ends Tonight With Last Villa Showing

Piece of Cinema Legacy Ends Tonight With Last Villa Showing

Save Story
Leer en espaƱol

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

News Specialist Ed Yeates reportingLongtime moviegoers prepare to say goodbye tonight to an old friend and entertainer -- the Villa Theater.

Unless some unforeseen action occurs at this point, the historic movie house will close its doors forever after the last showing tonight of "The Lord of The Rings."

For a lot of old timers who remember this theater well, they don't know quite how to react on this day, after realizing this landmark will soon be no more.

In fact, not only will the theater close tonight, the building itself could very well come down in weeks to make way for yet an unknown development.

Some people are taking today's closure harder than others.

Annette Nielsen has fond memories of every road show engagement at the Villa for the bigger part of more than five decades.

That's because her mother worked here for 35 years, first as a cleaning lady, then behind the concession stand.

"She would probably be turning in her grave right now if she knew it was going to be torn down," Nielsen says.

Annette was with her mother at the theater for most of those 35 years, rubbing elbows with moviegoers, movie stars and other VIPs.

Here she and mom posed with Tony Randall for the premier of the Cinerama production of Windjammer.

"We just kind of talked for a few moments, and then I had my picture taken with him and I felt pretty neat at the time because I wasn't that old," Nielsen says.

Cinerama, all the big screen formats that in the '50s and '60s were revolutionizing moviemaking, came here.

People traveled from all over, even from out of state. Movies were always a big thing at the Villa.

But tonight between 11:30 and midnight, moviegoers will walk out of these doors for the last time.

One of the country's few surviving deep curved Cinerama screens, the classy stadium auditorium, the atmosphere, the smell of popcorn, the sounds of audiences interacting with some of the best movies of our time -- will be NO more!

Most recent Utah stories

Related topics



Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the KSL.com Trending 5.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast