When Curt Gordon was a kid seeing movies at the theater in Spanish Fork, then called Main Street Movie, he felt a connection to the theater.
“Honestly from the first time I walked back into that place back in the early ’80s, I thought it was just an amazing source of energy,” Gordon said. “It’s been there since 1912 and there’s so much good human energy in that place. Even back when I was a kid in the ’80s, I could feel that.”
This weekend, the public got a taste of that energy at the Angelus Theatre’s grand reopening and 105th birthday celebration. The party included an “old-time variety show,” as Gordon put it, several concerts and a local art exhibit.
Over the years, the building has seen its fair share of movies, concerts and arts events. Gordon, one owner of Boothe Brothers Music, said he’s excited to continue sharing that with the community.
“We want this to be a local community house and we want people to feel like it’s their theater because it has been here for 105 years,” he said. “So it’s very much the people’s theater, we are just lucky enough to tend it.”
Restoration of the building, which included redoing the exterior and most of the interior, optimizing the stage for acoustics and recording, building a proscenium arch above the stage, fixing electric and plumbing, and renovating the upstairs to create rehearsal spaces, began in February 2016.
Going forward, the venue will continue to host a variety of arts events, including concerts, live music, performing arts events, art shows and private events.
The Angelus Theatre was opened on Sept. 9, 1912, and hosted live vaudeville theatre and showed movies. The theater, Spanish Fork’s only movie theater at the time, burned down in 1948 and was destroyed.
“They had the Angelus Theatre completely redone and reopened by 1950,” Gordon said. “That’s how important it was — they rebuilt the entire thing and had it reopened in a year and a half.”
The theater has held many names over the years, including Main Street Movie, Boothe Brothers Performing Arts Center and the Royal Palace Theatre. But Gordon said they chose to revert to the theater’s original name — the Angelus Theatre — because it felt like it was the one most connected to the building.
“I love to see things restored. I love vintage things. I love original energy and original concepts and first impressions. That was the No. 1 thing: I wanted to restore it to what it was when it was conceived,” he said.
With that in mind, he said the Angelus Theatre seemed like the right name because it was what it was called originally.
“You can’t have too many angels in your life,” Gordon said.