Renovation work resumes at Payson theater
Many people have been asking, “What’s happening with the Huish Theater? When’s it going to be finished?” The exterior improvements are obvious. The photo shows the upgraded exterior of the building as it stands today compared to 2006 before renovation began. The interior improvements are not so obvious. Much had been accomplished both inside and out up until January of this year when the theater’s owner, Gordon Taylor passed away and fundraising ceased.
With Facebook and various online fundraising websites, the project can now move forward again with help from the public. The new website, http://huishpace.com, will be coming online shortly and will have lots of great details about the renovation progress. There are a lot of exciting features planned that will make the Huish Performing Arts and Cultural Education (PACE) Center a truly remarkable venue whose time has come in the south end of Utah County.
Renovation will take place in phases as funds become available. Phase 1 plans are in place at this writing to install ADA-compliant restrooms in the rental unit just east of the main entrance. The other two rental spaces along Utah Avenue will be outfitted as a small performance venue for dance classes, a comedy club, areas for music lessons and performances, and other such uses. Once this venue is ready to go and a cash flow is generated, Phase 2 will begin, which will focus on the inside of the building, including the auditorium. A 56 foot by 42 foot stage was completed in 2013, electrical service was upgraded, some seismic upgrades were made, a waterproof membrane was installed on the roof, the old coal boiler and chimney were removed and replaced with a new HVAC system, a steel beam was fabricated which will support a new balcony that will be added, a new office/conference room was completed on the second floor, and a new, all-volunteer theater board of trustees was formed to head up the project.
A gofundme.com account has been setup (www.gofundme.com/27z6xzr9) as well as a Facebook page (http://facebook/huishpace). You can also donate at any Central Bank branch under the name Huish PACE. Since all the work will be done in phases, only small amounts need to be raised at a time. Large or small, any and all donations will help and will be greatly appreciated. Huish PACE is a nonprofit organization, making all donations tax deductible.
Located at 98 W. Utah Ave., the Huish Theater was built by the David Huish family in 1948. Movies were shown there for many years before the theater closed in Jauary of 2002.
The Huish Theater in Payson is shown before and after its exterior upgrades in 2006 and 2016. Renovation work is again moving forward at the building.