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Behind the name "Worm Creek Opera House"

In 1980 the Grande Theater in Preston had failed and gone bankrupt. The building sat for five years and was in disrepair. It was set to be condemned in 1986.


That year, Paul Swainston was driving his wife Glenda to Utah for an appointment to receive dialysis. She cared deeply for the arts in Preston, and was telling Paul how sad she was that it would be shut down and auctioned off. Paul asked if she would like him to pursue saving the theatre, and that it would cost a LOT of money to repair. She responded “I don’t care if it costs every penny we have… save the theatre.”


Paul returned to Preston and wrote the check to both save the theatre and keep it in the possession of the county. In a tribute to Preston’s early name (Worm Creek), Glenda asked that it be named Worm Creek Opera House. Throughout Glenda’s life she sewed and created over 7,000 costumes for productions at the theatre. She passed away in 2019. Paul continues to support the theatre on the board, and even starred as the Wizard in the 2022 Wizard of Oz production.

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