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Desert Star Playhouse

2003 Photo from the Grant Smith collection
4861 S State St
Murray UT 84107
(801) 266-7600

Visit Website Live Theatre
Record #9208  
 Opened: 1930
Architectural Style(s):
National Register:
Current Organ: none
 Also Known As: New Iris, Vista

Information for this tour was contributed by Grant Smith.

In 1930, the Duvalls demolished The Gem and the Iris Apartment Building, replacing them with the larger New Iris Theater and an 8-unit apartment building. [1]

In 1954 Duvall sold the New Iris Theater to the Sid Horman Construction Company, which then sold the theater to Art Proctor. [1] Proctor, who also operated the Avalon Theater and the Blue Mouse, changed the name of the theater from Iris to Vista. The name Vista was chosen because it would cost less to change the sign if two letters of the original name were reused.

In 1989, Desert Star Theatrics remodeled the Vista theater and reopened it as the Deseret Star Playhouse, a family-style dinner-theater featuring musical melodramas with light refreshments, soft drinks, and free popcorn on the tables. The stage was enlarged and the theaters seats were replaced with small, cabaret-style tables. They planned to later add pizza and ice cream to the menu and to enhance the sightlines by terracing the floor and adding raised sections along the sides of the auditorium. The opening of the Desert Star Playhouse was scheduled for 3 November 1989, but had to be delayed until 17 November 1989 because of problems in meeting Murray City's building codes. [2 & 3]

[1] National Register of Historic Places Registration Form for the Murray Theater
[2] "MELODRAMA THEATER MAY OPEN FRIDAY", Deseret News, 29 October 1989, page E11
[3] "HISS-TORICAL SETTING FOR MELODRAMA TROUPE", Deseret News, 3 November 1989, page W1)

 Photos remain the property of the Member and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the Member.

January 2009 photos from the Darren Snow collection.

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January 2004 photos from the Grant Smith collection.

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July 2003 photos from the Grant Smith collection.

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Photos from the Scott Neff collection.

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Last featured 2002-12-27. Last edited 1/14/2011.

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