369 W. South Temple

Memorabilia from the Cosmic Aeroplane at 369 W. South Temple

Space was a consideration, and the West Side seemed like an interesting place … Posters were a big thing at the beginning, dance posters, W. C. Fields posters

Exterior view: East Front Bay of the Cosmic Aeroplane on 369 W. South Temple, April 69. There were two bays and a shared hallway at first: Then Utah Draft Resistance rented the west-most bay; The Cosmic Aeroplane's shop area was in the front of the East Bay  until they moved in 1974 -- Photo courtesy of Steve Jones, with minor digital filtering by M. Evans

Exterior view: East Front Bay of the Cosmic Aeroplane on 369 W. South Temple, April 69. There were two bays and a shared hallway at first: Then Utah Draft Resistance sublet the West Bay; The Cosmic Aeroplane’s shop area was in the East Bay until they moved in 1973 — Photo courtesy of Steve Jones, with digital filtering by M. Evans

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In 1969, Steve Jones moved the operation into an L-shaped building near the corner of Fourth West and South Temple,  just across from the Union Pacific Railroad Depot ...

The following PDF consists of two scanned xerox pages from a reference book published by Polk’s Directory circa 1970-1971, Listing businesses on South Temple, including the Cosmic Aeroplane.

Steve Jones outside of the Cosmic Aeroplane, from a photo marked

Steve Jones outside of the Cosmic Aeroplane on South Temple, from a photo marked “Sept 72” — follow the doorways westward past State Hatters & Cleaners, Jim’s Washing Machine Repairs, Kenya Amusement Center, and the Railroad Exchange. In 2013, this location is the site of concrete stairs leading to a basketball arena occupying most of a city block — home court for the Utah Jazz of the NBA. The railroad depot in the background still exists.

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Polk’s Directory Listing

(Please wait for the PDF to load.)

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Hand-lettered flyer (8 x 11.5 inches) circa 1971 — artist unknown. Digital email image courtesy of Dave Faggioli.

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Looking Northeast from the interior of the east bay at 369 w. South Temple — The Cosmic Pay Phone, which the FBI was tapping, and wouldn’t let the Bell System shut off, even though the partners couldn’t pay the bill. Merchandise included jewelry, glass smoking devices, conventional pipes, underground publications, comics, books, cards, bumper stickers, and antiques, including a banner honoring the USS New Jersey. Photo courtesy of Becky Roberts/Charley Hafen/Steve Jones.

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Steve Jones and Sherm Clow took on a third partner named Jack Bills:

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Clockwise from upper left: Sherm, Jill, Tamara, Jack, Steve, and Linda at the Cosmic Aeroplane on South Temple circa 1971 — Photo courtesy of Becky Roberts/Steve Jones/Charley Hafen.

The timeless photo above was an advertisement for newly-opened Mother’s Earth Things at the fertile Alternative business district at 9th East and 9th South. It featured the staff of both stores. The women were wearing antique vintage clothing, and the men were in contemporary denims.

Page 325 of Mountain Bell's Yellow Pages in 1973.

Page 325 of Mountain Bell’s Yellow Pages in 1973.

Bills later partnered with Manus Monroe, Larry Ficks, and others in an Alternative Shop called “The Connection” in the 9th & 9th Community — around the corner from the Cosmic Aeroplane’s first address.

Cosmic Roots and Branches — The 9th & 9th Community

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Uncredited article from the Daily Utah Chronicle February 5, 1970
about the first Cosmic Aeroplane transitions.

(Thanks to Steve Jones for the microfilm scans from the Marriott Library)

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Thinking big in 1970 — Cosmic Enterprises Incorporated Non-Profit Coffeehouse

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Photo courtesy of Daniel Darger Esq.


There were plans for a coffeehouse in the rear room that never came to fruition for a variety of reasons, but the short-lived campaign still sold a few shares.

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Courtesy of Blogmeister Michael — NOTE: A reproduction of one of these certificates is printed in The 30th Bastille Family Reunion by E. Richard (Hart) Bastille.

The Daily Utah Chronicle on the University of Utah campus published
“We Honor … Sherm Clow” at the eve of his graduation, June 30, 1970.

… Sherm Clow first came to the attention of of most of the campus in the spring of 1967 when he and Steve Jones opened Salt Lake City’s first head shop, the Cosmic Aeroplane. Of the shops that flourished and died died through the Age of Flower Children, the “Airplane” is the only one still surviving … Projected is a People’s Coffeehouse for which shares are now being sold at $10 each.

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Scanned from microfilm at the Marriott Library, University of Utah — Courtesy of Steve Jones.

Unaccredited feature, legendarily ascribed to Nick Snow —
Follow the link below to read the entire article as a PDF File.

Daily Utah Chronicle, University of Utah, June 30, 1970 PDF

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The Cosmic Aeroplane’s huge back room was used for weddings by Reverend Willis of the Universal Life Church, and rehearsals by a Modern Dance group called Clock Mother & Company (with Wendy Leoff, Meridoc, Duffy, and P.T. Holly.)

The Smoke Blues Band rehearsed, and even performed at the Cosmic Aeroplane.

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Image courtesy of Steve Jones — Artist  and year unknown.

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The Human Ensemble launched a successful dramatic company from the Cosmic Aeroplane’s back room on South Temple:

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Handbill from the Summer of 1971 — Courtesy of Steve Jones

The entrepreneurial Human Ensemble utilized the rear room at the South Temple Cosmic Aeroplane as a theater from 1970 and late into 1971 during their first year of operations. They began in the social hall of the Unitarian Church near the University of Utah, and later took over a reclaimed building in Arrow Press Square named the Glass Factory for a decade or more.

Read more about the Human Ensemble and Cosmic Aeroplane HERE

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Cosmic Aeroplane’s partners cooperated in publicity campaigns for other Alternative businesses, helping create footholds at the 9th & 9th, plus their neighbors nearer the Union Pacific Depot on South Temple in Salt Lake City.

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Photographic session at Ben’s Railroad Exchange, in antique fashions, featuring Tamara, Jill, Linda, Steve, Sherm, Jack, and Mike O’Leary as”the waiter.”

Ben’s Railroad Exchange expanded into an Alternative Bar, featuring the former Smoke Blues Band playing as Rocks & Gravel, and eventually metamorphosed into the Sun Tavern — one of the first openly-gay discotheques in the Western United States.

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The now-demolished Sun Tavern on 400 West and South Temple — Digital sketch by M. Evans

East of the Sun Tavern, during the 1980’s, a Dance Club called The East Room filled the space once occupied by the Cosmic Aeroplane.

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Roots of the Blue Boutique — this show was organized by the staff of Cosmic Aeroplane’s “Head Shop” on First South.

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Color Photo Archive — 1969 to 1973
All pictures courtesy of Steve Jones
Painted windows, walls, and floor by Richard Taylor of Rainbow Jam

Lower windows of the main shop — facing north, soon after the store opened on South Temple.

Lower windows of the main shop — facing north, soon after the store opened on South Temple.

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Example of an upper window on the north side.

One of the upper windows on the north side.

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The southern wall of the main shop around the time of its opening.

The southern wall of the main shop, around the time of its opening.

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Full-frame print of Steve Jones outside of the shp, looking west on South Temple towards the Union Pacific Depot.

Full-frame print of Steve Jones outside his shop, camera pointed west, towards Union Pacific Depot.

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The southern wall of the main shop, at about the time the store moved to West Temple.

The southern wall of the main shop, at about the time Cosmic Aeroplane moved over to West Temple.

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Painted rosette on the floor, after four years of wear.

Painted rosette on the floor, after four years of foot traffic.

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The back room -- Rehearsal space for the Smoke Blues Band and first home of the Human Ensemble Theater Group, which eventually evolved into the Salt Lake Acting Company.

The back room, making the aforementioned L-shape — Rehearsal space for Smoke Blues Band and first home of the Human Ensemble Theater.

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Any and all material related to the Cosmic Aeroplane at its various locations is welcome, please inform us via the comment section below!

258_logo_combo000wwDISCLAIMER: Any advertisements you may see below this page are artifacts of our blog-hosting service and are totally unrelated to this project.

One Response to 369 W. South Temple

  1. Oh this takes me back, thanks for sharing photos. GenieL

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