Bringing People Together
The purpose of the Huish PACE Center is to provide a venue, not only for artistic expression, but for events that are educational, cultural, social and informational. The venue will serve a broad spectrum of uses for the community of Payson, Utah, including, but not limited to theater, festivals, competitions, DIY classes, music and dance classes and recitals, concerts, exhibitions, comedy club, tumbling & gymnastics, scholarship pageants, business meetings and expos, and much, much more.
The facilities include the 75-seat Sideshow, open in July of 2023, and the ~600 seat main theater, set to open in 2024. Plans for additional performing arts spaces are also in the works. If you'd like to stay up-to-date on the progress of the renovations, please join our Facebook Group.
The Huish Movie Theater in Payson, Utah was opened in April, 1949, by Huish Enterprises which owned theaters by the same name in South-Central Utah. The first movie shown was "Mother Was a Freshman" starring Loretta Young and Van Johnson. The theater had a seating capacity of 830 and was fully equipped with the most modern projection and sound equipment for its day.
The Huish Theater was leased by Sam and Dorothy McFadden who operated the theater 6 days a week, and who introduced Tuesday Ladies Night when a lady would be admitted free with each paid adult admission.
In 1980, Harold and Vilda Erickson took over the operation of the theater when Mrs. McFadden retired.
The theater was sold to Paul and Bunny Mower in 1985. They successfully operated the theater for a number of years even updating much of the interior of the building. However, when the new Stadium Cinema Theater opened nearby, the Huish Theater which had always refused to show R-rated films, or be opened on Sundays, was unable to book newly-released blockbuster films. Instead of adding more screens, the Mowers decided to close its doors, and the 54-year-old theater showed its last film on January 31, 2002.
In 2008, Dr. Gordon Taylor purchased The Huish Movie Theater after his wife, Karen, insisted that he renovate the vacant, run-down building, and make it a premier destination for everything from classic matinees, ballet, theater and concerts. It was also their vision to have rooms for music lessons, play rehearsals, and dance classes — everything needed for future performances. The proposed Huish Side Show will provide space for these types of amenities.
2023 & 2024
Renovations finally are nearing completion, with the Sideshow venue opening in July of 2023, and the main performance venue on track to open in 2024.
Karen Taylor was the wife of Gordon Taylor, former mayor of Payson and a retired dentist who practiced in Payson for many years. Gordon, along with Larry Brown, was largely responsible for the renovation and restoration of the Peteetneet Academy building after it was abandoned in 1989 by the Nebo School District and was scheduled for the wrecking ball.
Karen loved both the visual and performing arts. In 2008 Gordon made a promise to her that he would purchase and resurrect the decrepit, vacant theater. She had a vision of making the Huish the epicenter of performance art at the south end of Utah County. He acquired the theater and the Huish Performing Arts and Cultural Education Center was born. "Do you realize what a job this is going to be? I'm 80 years old," he told her. He thought he ought to live like a "retired gentlemen." "I don't care, I want you to do it for me," she told him. And that was that. Karen passed away two days after Valentine's Day in 2010, and Gordon's resolve became watertight because of his wife's wish to see the Huish up and running again.