A local contractor will attempt to renovate the old Pamela Theater for use as a community theater.
Built in 1925, the city landmark was purchased by the late Van and and Madge Anderson in 1940. Ownership has since reverted to two daughters - Vannene Partington and Pamela Larson, both of whom live in northern Utah. The building was named for the latter, and the sisters have indicated they would like to see the building restored.Contractor Derek Andreason has applied for a building permit to reconstruct the theater, but it won't be an easy task. The condemned building's roof has caved in, yet its face on Main Street remains intact, along with the original marquee.
Past attempts at restoration, including one that involved local high school students in a fund-raising effort, have failed. But Andreason's expertise in construction may make the project a viable one. While he doesn't believe it will be a money-making venture, Andreason said he wants to give something back to the town and improve the attractiveness of the downtown area.
The city council is anxious to approve the permit application, but several legal procedures must be completed before renovation can begin, according to Mayor Evelyn Nielson.
The mayor and council want to see the building reconstructed rather than torn down, but because the building has been condemned, Sevier County Building Inspector John Hicks said the reconstruction must be designed by a structural engineer. Andreason has hired such a designer.
Realtor Debbie Heaton, who had the building listed for sale but couldn't find a buyer, said she believes restoration is feasible.
Andreason said the building is structurally sound and that the roof can be rebuilt. After reconstructing the roof, the interior would be gutted and then rebuilt. Andreason said he wants to build a stage - a proposal that has met with enthusiastic approval by area residents.