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Fort Douglas Post Theater - Salt Lake City, UT
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Chasing Blue Sky
N 40° 45.845 W 111° 49.928
12T E 429767 N 4512901
Quick Description: One of the most popular places on the installation, the Post Theater was built in 1932 on Fort Douglas, in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Location: Utah, United States
Date Posted: 10/14/2013 2:27:57 PM
Waymark Code: WMJ9FT
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member TheBeanTeam
Views: 0

Long Description:

Just outside the front of the Fort Douglas Post Theater, is a marker that reads:


FORT DOUGLAS POST THEATER

Restored and renovated through the generosity of the
GEORGE S. and DOLORES DORE ECCLES FOUNDATION
with additional support from other donors

         Since its construction in 1932, the Post Theater has drawn crowds for films
         as well as military meetings and community gatherings. Particularly during
         the years of World War II, expanded recreation activities at Fort Douglas
         attracted military personnel and their families here to enjoy movies.

         Among the most popular and recognized structures on historic Fort Douglas
         property, the 260-seat Post Theater has been restored to again be a center of
         educational and recreational activity for the University of Utah campus,
         community, and the military.

         Fort Douglas was operated by the U. S. Army from 1862 to 1991. During the
         2002 Olympic Winter Games, this and other Fort Douglas facilities were part
         of the games' Athletes Village, where Utah welcomed visitors and athletes
         from around the world. Today, the fort's historic and new structures comprise
         Fort Douglas Heritage Commons, a living and learning center for the University
         of Utah, which continues to welcome community participation.



DEDICATED 2002

"This one-story brick building with a two-story front section was constructed in 1932 as a War Department theater. The name was changed to Post Theater in the late 1940s. The front portion of the building displays a Neoclassical style that leans more toward Roman than Greek. There were originally two doors on either side of the front entrances that provided exterior access to the restrooms. These doors were later removed and glass block inserted in their place. As part of the pre-Olympic renovation of this building, false doors replaced the glass block to restore the building’s historic appearance." SOURCE

With the onset of the Civil War, President Lincoln called all regular troops from frontier duty to fight against the South, leaving the Overland Mail Route vulnerable to Indian attacks. Accordingly, he appointed Colonel Patrick E. Connor to the Third California Volunteer Infantry and directed him to establish a post near Salt Lake City in order to protect the mail route while keeping an eye on the Mormons. He established Camp Douglas in October 1862, naming it after the late Senator Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois. Connor felt that it was his duty to bring non-Mormons into the territory and so actively encouraged his men to prospect for precious metals. Connor and his men subsequently played a significant role in the beginning of mining in Utah. They also participated in several punitive missions against American Indians including the Bear River Massacre in 1863.

In 1866, the volunteers were discharged and the regulars of the 18th Infantry replaced them. Competent stone barracks, chapel, and administrative buildings were constructed and the post became one of the most picturesque and sought after assignments on the frontier. Three years later, the completion of the transcontinental railroad perpetuated rapid deployment of the local troops. Fort Douglas units participated in the northern plains campaigns of the 1870s and in the Sioux War of 1890. One of the most notable Fort Douglas units was the 24th Infantry, composed of African-American soldiers and white officers. They fought courageously in Cuba, charging up San Juan Hill during the Spanish-American War in 1898.

In 1902, the 12th Infantry completed three years of duty in the Philippines and returned to Fort Douglas. For entertainment, the men filled dance halls, breweries, parks, and often paid visits to the gambling halls, shooting galleries, saloons, and houses of prostitution in the red light district. The regimental band performed Sunday afternoon concerts, bringing civilians to the fort. Consequently, many of the officers married Salt Lake girls and either took them away to other posts or settled in the city to raise their families.

Fort Douglas expanded quickly during World War I, training thousands of recruits and establishing a German prisoner of war camp. Throughout the war, it's prison held almost nine hundred dissidents. Also, the 38th Infantry, nicknamed "Rock of the Marne" for stopping a German offensive, arrived in 1922.

In January of 1942 as a result of the Japanese attack of Pearl Harbor, the Ninth Service Command headquarters, which directed military operations west of the Rockies, was transferred from Presidio in San Francisco to Fort Douglas. Salt Lake City scrambled in order to house the 150 families of the Ninth Service Command's incoming troops. Also during this time Fort Douglas coordinated all material to be sent to the Pacific war. Following World War II, the army announced that Fort Douglas was surplus and some of its land was turned over to the University of Utah as well as other agencies. The Korean War briefly delayed dismantlement, but the flag was finally lowered on June 25, 1967. The army retained only some historic buildings and water rights in Red Butte Canyon.

Fort Douglas was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1970 and earned the designation of a National Historic Landmark in 1975. Congress closed Fort Douglas as a military facility in 1989. Transfer of Fort Douglas to the University of Utah started two years later and was completed in 1993, leaving only the memories of the more than 50,000 military personnel that had been stationed in Salt Lake City." SOURCE

Year Theater Opened: 1932

Number of Screen(s): 1

Web site: [Web Link]

Ticket Price (local currency): Not Listed

Matinee Price (local currency): Not Listed

Concessions Available: Not Listed

Visit Instructions:
Must take a photo of the theater.
Please try to include yourself or gps in the picture.
Tell of your experience at the theater, if it is still a theater. If it is no longer a theater tell of an experience from the past at the theater, if this can be done.
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Chasing Blue Sky visited Fort Douglas Post Theater - Salt Lake City, UT 4/30/2013 Chasing Blue Sky visited it