(745 South State Street)
Sharon’s Cultural, Educational, Recreational Association (SCERA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the development and advancement of culture, youth training, education, recreation and affordable family entertainment. It was founded in 1933 by members of the Sharon LDS Stake, including Victor C. Anderson and Arthur V. Watkins.
The aftereffects of the Great Depression had robbed many of their lifetime investments in farms and homes. Spirits were low in the community, and worsened with the drowning of a small child in an unprotected canal. SCERA’s new leaders met and determined to provide programs and facilities to “build the body, enrich the mind, touch the soul, and unify the family.” To raise money, SCERA organized weekend movie showings at Lincoln High School, with families admitted for one dollar per month. As the community rallied behind the project, donations of materials were also collected and eventually made possible the Rosalawn Swimming Pool, located on the site of the parking lot east of the SCERA Center. A more modern swimming pool was built just north of the original in the 1960s.
Within a few years the original motion picture program grew in popularity enough to support the construction of a new building. The LDS Church donated land for the building with the stipulation that SCERA would not show movies on Sundays and would allow the church to use the auditorium for meetings. The new SCERA Theater was financed through $25 bonds purchased by area families and a massive cooperative effort including donated labor and materials. Ground was broken on March 23, 1940. The 745-seat Show House opened on September 1, 1941, with a showing of “Shepherd of the Hills” starring John Wayne.
Since that time SCERA has continued its unique status by showing only G and PG-rated films. SCERA undertook an expansion of the building in 1995 to a full community center with multipurpose rooms, an art gallery, a second show house and a home for the Orem Heritage Museum. SCERA also owns and operates the SCERA Shell Outdoor Theater, a 4,000-capacity performing arts amphitheater. Today SCERA remains true to the vision of its founders.