As Susan and I were driving out to the Bonneville Salt Flats a few weeks ago, we skirted the southern end of the Great Salt Lake. It isn’t much to look at really, just a lake. As we drove I noticed an old building with onion domes on it between I-80 and the lake. It looked like maybe it was an arcade or something. Then today I was watching the ARTS channel on TV and they were starting a movie called Carnival of Souls (though they ended up only showing it for a few minutes, I guess for the organ music; I don’t understand the ARTS channel). I had never heard of it, but the on screen notes said it was a 1962 movie filmed in Salt Lake City at the abandoned Saltair pavilion. I looked the movie up on Wikipedia and it had a link to Saltair, Utah where I found out that the building I saw was actually Saltair III, built in 1981. Saltair II was the setting of the 1962 movie (which became a cult classic), but it burned in 1970, following in the footsteps of the original Saltair I, which was built in 1893 and burned in 1925. At one time it had the biggest dance floor in the country and was quite popular but fell on hard times. Saltair III, which is still there, is used sometimes for concerts and was built about a mile from the original location. All that is left of the original Saltairs are piles that the buildings sat on. One problem with a lakeside resort on the Great Salt Lake is that the extent of the lake varies quite a bit over time and Saltair III was sometimes flooded and sometimes a long way from the water. Wikipedia also points out that one of my favorite bands, The Pixies, wrote the song “Palace of the Brine” about shrimp that live in the lake and the “Palace” is Saltair. I had no idea about any of this as we drove out to Bonneville and I noticed a funky building with onion domes.

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