Historical “Star” May Soon Shine Again – Press Release 10/01/2004

DATE 10/01/2004 2:17 PM

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

Historical “Star” May Soon Shine Again.

The historical Star Theater may soon be shining bright once again along Gunnison’s Main Street.The community group Save our Star is moving ahead with plans to buy the theatre and restore it to its former glory. Recently, the group, which is headed by Lori Nay, a member of the Gunnison City Council and Gunnison Arts Council, signed a sale agreement to purchase the theater. The group has until January to finalize the deal.

The theatre, which is listed on the National Registrar of Historic Places, is believed to be one of the last Beaux Arts-style theaters in the Western United States. Built in 1912 as the “Casino Theater,” it was one of several similar theatres built in the state around that time. Other structures include Ogden’s Egyptian Theater and the Capitol Theater in Salt Lake. The name was changed to the Star Theater in 1936.

At one time, stone angels, flowers, urns and other ornamental details graced the theater and its name Theatre. But over time, as the building started to fall into disrepair, most of those details deteriorated.

As well, a modern entrance was added to the building. But the theater still includes its original dressing rooms and orchestra pit.

Nay and others have been trying to acquire and restore the theater for years, but they encountered problems raising enough money in time to purchase the building when it was last up for sale in 1987. The current owner, who also runs a theater in Payson, recently decided to retire and put the theater on the market again.

Save our Star will be banding together once again to try and raise money to complete the deal and will be looking to the community and state for assistance.

The group hopes to eventually run the theater as a movie theater and special-events facility. They say it has the potential to be showpiece both for the city and county, and hope to attract film festivals, music concerts and other events.

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For more information Contact:Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502
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