SPRINGVILLE, Utah — A Utah film producer has signed a lease on a Springville theater and plans to renovate the space that has shown movies and performances since 1937.

Despite a long list of repairs needed to get the Rivoli Theater in shape, Melissa Cannon is working to reopen the facility to show films, stage performances and host community events, The Daily Herald reported (http://bit.ly/2y2OtbV ) on Wednesday.

Cannon said the theater was a staple for the community, and it needs people back in it.

“I loved the stories of the people in the city of their experience here,” Cannon said. “I’ve heard people who have had their first Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup here. People who had their first kiss here or their first job.”

Before people can sue this venue again, the theater requires renovations in areas like the restrooms, lobby, front office and basement.

“Obviously (the plan is to) restore it and do some upgrades, but keep it with the most historic charm that I possibly can,” Cannon said.

Daryl Tucker, a member of the Springville Historical Society, is assisting Cannon with the project. He said a silent movie theater first opened on the site in 1927, but it was rebuilt and expanded a decade later, giving the theater its current look. The building was purchased in the 1990s and became a playhouse. About a decade later it sold, and then the city of Springville acquired the building in 2008.

“It needs some protection, somebody to come in and preserve it and to make sure it doesn’t just melt away and become a cavity for another building to come into,” Tucker said.

In recent years, the theater has largely been void of performances.

Cannon said she is working on plans to bring film festivals to the theater and be a place for Utah filmmakers to showcase their work.

“There’s a lot that people don’t know about that’s happening right under their nose,” Cannon said. “I want to showcase some of that as well, so they can meet local directors and local producers.”


Information from: The Daily Herald, http://www.heraldextra.com