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Each Spring the community stages a musical production of one of the classic musicals. The Theater is also home for Christmas Festivities as well as other entertaining events thru out the year.
Parowan Community Theater is operated by Parowan City Corporation and is managed by a Theater Board made up of community residents involved in theater and performing arts. The Theater is available for use by the public. Some restrictions may apply. To schedule the use of the Theater and rental fees information, contact Parowan Event Coordinator, Jet Smith at (435) 477-9022.
The Parowan Theater Marquee is available when not in use by the Theater, please contact Parowan Event Coordinator, Jet Smith at (435) 477-9022.
Drama and music were an integral part of pioneer life. Singing, dancing, playing of musical instruments and performance of skits along the wagon trail refreshed weary travelers from a long day of travel along dusty roads during the summer and freezing wet snowy trails during the winter.
Even as the first pioneers to southern Utah made their way to Parowan through winter blizzard conditions, singing and drama made their trek a little more bearable. Less than a month after their left their warm homes in the Salt Lake valley, the pioneers formally organized the Iron County Choir while camped at Cove Creek (later to become Cove Fort).
Soon after their arrival in Parowan (Jan 13, 1851), the Parowan Dramatic Association (PDA) was organized with Edward Dalton as president. The first plays were performed around the campfire until the Log Council Hall was built in the spring of 1851. The first plays to be performed in the Log Council Hall were “The Village Lawyer and the farce, “Slasher and Crasher. For the next 17 years, they performed musicals, Shakespearean plays, and professional dramas and comedies.
When the Rock Church was completed in 1868, the PDA moved their productions to the south end of the church basement, where there was a large stage. As the population of Parowan grew, so did the need for more classrooms, and soon the PDA had to find a new place to hold their productions. In 1887, the group built the Old Comedy Hall, while they continued performing in Alex Orton?s barn. It was a long lumber shack with raised seats clear to the roof on the back side.
Having outgrown the Old Comedy Hall, the PDA and residents started work on the Opera House in 1895 with the work completed in 1897. The Old Comedy House was torn down and the lumber used to finish the roof on the Opera House. The first play performed in the Opera House was “Van the Virginia.
West Ward Building The Opera House served the community well until 1928, when it was torn down and the bricks and lumber were used to build the West Ward Church building.
Old Movie House Rex HallIn the early 1900’s, Marion Halterman, Sr., and Thomas Bennett built the Rex Hall. This hall was built as a picture show house, first showing silent movies and later on talking movies.
When Iron County celebrated its Centennial in 1951, the community came together to perform “Ingomar the Barbarian, which first performed by the PDA. in 1851. Many of the actors were descendants of the original 1851 cast.
Gordon Farnsworth family purchased the Aladdin from the Mitchells and continued showing movies until the 1980’s. Then in 1989/90, the Farnworth family donated the Theater to Parowan City to be used as a community Theater. Over 500 volunteers came out and renovated the inside of the Theater, including reupholstering the 200-plus seats, stripping and cleaning the wooden floors and rebuilding the stage.
In the late 1990’s, Parowan Main Street Program and Parowan Heritage Foundation received a grant to restore the front of the Theater back to its original design, including building a replica of the original marquee. Then Parowan City received a grant to repair the roof and to extend the back of the Theater to include proper dressing rooms, storage and restrooms.
For the past 14 years, the Parowan Community Theater has hosted musicals every Spring, children Theater plays, original plays written by former Parowan residents as well as current residents, dance and music, talent shows, Christmas programs, professional performers, and town meetings. The Theater continues to showcase the finest amateur performing talents found anywhere in southern Utah.
Over the past 150-plus years, Parowan has been home to many drama organizations, including the Parowan Dramatic Association, Parowan Young Peoples Dramatic Club, Adams Stock Company, John S. Lindsay and company, the Farnsworth Players, and now the Parowan Community Theater.