Live music resounded from the walls of Logan's historic Capitol Theatre for the first time in 25 years and extra chairs had to be brought in for Saturday's third and final performance of Puccini's comic opera Gianni Schicchi.
For Michael Ballan, professional opera singer who played the title role, it was a week of triumph because he recently spearheaded a successful drive that resulted in the city acquiring the 65-year-old theater.Prior to the performance each evening, Mayor Newell Daines described the reopening as "volunteerism in its highest form."
He said hundreds of people and businesses donated time, money and materials to clean out and spruce up the theater.
Daines told crowds ranging from 1,100 to 1,250 that Ballan, recently hired to teach music at Utah State University, "has ignited a spirit in this that used to make Logan known as the Athens of the West."
The opera was a USU production, but cast members came from both the campus and the community. Daines said the city has received strong support from USU since the City Council agreed to trade two houses for the theater.
Westates Theatres will continue to show movies in the building under a lease that expires in 1992. But Daines said the company has agreed to allow the city use of the building for at least 60 days a year.
Refurbishing has begun and will proceed gradually as grants and donations come in, Daines said.