Carnival of Souls (1962)


saltair dance pavilion carnival of the souls
The Saltair Dance Pavilion in 1955, used in the iconic horror film Carnival of Souls. From here. More history here. This is the second pavilion built on the site, which was destroyed by arson in 1970. A rail car that used to ferry dancers to and from the pavilion sat near the area until 2012 — you can read about that fascinating history here at Bonneville Mariner.


  1. I love the pavilion scenes in Carnival of Souls! When I first saw the movie, I remember being surprised to find how gorgeous the cinematography was. I had expected something much grittier.

  2. I love that movie! The cinematography was superb and the music very atmospheric. Thanks for the neat photos.
    I went by the new Saltair in the 80’s when El Nino weather caused the lake to rise so much that Saltair was flooded and the railroad and interstate was raised. Lake Provo also rose and flooded farmland. Then the water receded so much Saltair was too far from the water. Just a typical cycle of the Great Salt Lake – I think the golden years of the resort also coincided with very convenient water levels.

  3. I learned about the building ages ago, back when our local PBS station first aired their documentary on the film. The documentary is on the Criterion Collection DVD by the way. It’s not bad for a Topeka PBS station doc.

  4. I worked at the Reuter Organ Co. in the mid-’80s. It was cool to see the old factory assembly room, where I spent a lot of time, in the movie!

Comments are closed.