The Wilshire Theatre was a movie palace that stood and entertained many from 1968 to 1998 in Ogden, Utah. I do not recall whether I went to this theater in my youth. I mostly became aware of its existence when doing research for my campaign to save the Cinedome 70. Since the moment I became aware of it, it has been the focus of many of my thoughts. I keep coming back to it because of the lack of information that’s available. In the age where there’s a hundred high resolution photos depicting every angle of everything, the only pictures that are available are grainy images ripped out of the newspaper.
I refuse to believe that a theater can be in a community for 30 years and leave such a small paper trail. I plan on starting a Facebook page much like the one I created for the Cinedome. Granted, it will be more of a memorial page than anything else since the theater has been gone for two decades. I want to find stories and pictures, giving this great establishment the afterlife it deserves. I’m tired of seeing former pillars of the community being lost in the abyss of history.
I would love to go back to the days when movie theaters were personal. The people who ran them knew you by name. You didn’t have to take out a second mortgage to pay for tickets and concessions. I hate going to the movies now because it seems like they don’t care. Large, impersonal theaters with unnecessarily loud sound systems packed to the brim with inconsiderate ruffians. Our movie viewing experience is this way because we wanted it. We were fooled by the glitz and glamour of the multiplexes. Little did we know that we’d have nothing but multiplexes in a few short years.
Why does everything we used to love end up sucking? The Wilshire Theatre is not the only theater that has fallen victim to the multiplexes over the years. It surely won’t be the last. I’m saddened at the fact that it’s impossible to find any information about certain things. More people need to tell stories of places like the Wilshire. Maybe then we might have a shot of restoring the world of the movie houses and leaving behind the scourge of corporate influence. Corporations control everything. I wish they would leave the world of cinema alone.