Utah's 1950s Ice Cream Parlor

A gleaming new, thoroughly retro shop in Panguitch's restored Gem Theatre serves up 18 flavors—and sundaes all named for movies.

waffle cones at Panguitch Utah's 1950s ice cream parlor, image

Waffle cones come in 18 flavors at Scoops from the Past in Panguitch.

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Heather Childs, the co-owner of Scoops from the Past Ice Cream Parlor, has just one tiny regret. “I can’t get teenagers to wear poodle skirts,” she says. But everything else in her gleaming new shop in Panguitch, Utah, near Bryce Canyon National Park, is as if from a 1950s dream.

The floor is black-and-white tile in a checkerboard pattern. Servers wearing T-shirts, sneakers, and blue jeans with the cuffs turned up scoop rocky road and whirl vanilla shakes in stainless cups.

Childs and her husband, a building contractor, bought the vacant 1909 Gem Theatre on the small town’s main drag and painstakingly turned it into a haven for visitors and locals. It has a movie screen and stage, a coffee lounge with Wi-Fi, a small museum, a candy counter stocked with Necco Wafers and Mary Janes, and the retro ice cream parlor with its 18-flavor dipping cabinet.

“Our sundaes all have movie names,” Childs says. “The E.T. is vanilla ice cream with Reese’s Pieces and peanut butter sauce. You’ve got to try it.” 105 N. Main St., (435) 676-8885, scoopsfromthepast.com.

Photography by Jerrie Haskin Photography

This article was published in July 2011. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.

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