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Sandy Journal

World-class Theatre Groundbreaking in Sandy

Nov 06, 2015 10:19AM ● By Stacy Nielsen

By: Stacy Nielsen

Sandy - The Hale Centre Theatre held a groundbreaking ceremony on Sept. 16 on the 3rd floor of the City Hall building, near where the new 130,000-square-foot, $65 million theater will be built in Sandy. 

“The groundbreaking for the Hale Center Theatre was an impressive display of just how creative and accomplished the organization is,” Sandy City Council chairman Stephen Smith said.

Those in attendance included co-founders Mark and Sally Dietlein, VP of Tait Stage Technology Gemma Guy, Sandy City mayor Tom Dolan, Salt Lake County mayor Ben McAdams and other dignitaries, like Utah’s attorney general Sean Reyes, to unveil the plans for this new world-class theater. 

Construction is now underway at 9900 Monroe Street, the site of the new theater, and is being led by Layton Construction. Beecher Walker Architects designed the theater, and it will offer two state-of-the-art stages: a 450-seat proscenium thrust theater for smaller productions and an approximately  900-seat theater-in-the-round with a technologicallyadvanced center stage. 

The proscenium theater is projected to open in Jan. 2017, and the center stage is expected to open in early summer of the same year. The theater will present more than 500 performances in 2017 between the two stages, and then grow to more than 700 performances in 2018. 

The Hale Centre Theatre is moving to Sandy out of West Valley City because their current seating capacity does not meet their demands: they have performed at 100 percent capacity since 2004. Even with the expansion, the theater is committed to providing affordable, world-class family entertainment. The plans include ample legroom and plenty of bathrooms on every floor. 

The Hale Centre Theatre also revealed the details of its state-of-the-art design. The stage will be built by Tait Tower Technologies, the same company responsible for creating the impressive stages for Katy Perry, Maroon 5, Justin Timberlake, Beyonce, U2, Bon Jovi and other artists over the years. However, this theater will be unique and more complex due to all of the moving parts. 

The theater was able to raise approximately $15 million in pledges and donations as of the groundbreaking and expects to raise an additional $10 million in revenue. Sandy City is planning to put up an approximately $40 million bond to be paid back over the next 27 years to build the theater. 

The Hale Centre is a non-profit organization and gives back to the community by donating theater passes, to and providing tours for, hundreds of school children and non-profit organizations throughout the year. The organization is dedicated to providing “innovative, professional family theater and theater education that involves and elevates our community.” Since 2005, the theater has won 20 Best-of-State awards in Theater Group/Director, Arts in Education and Professional Theater.

“We believe the theater will be the jewel of our Cairns district.  The location next to I-15 is a premier location, practically unrivaled in the state.  It gives great visibility to the theater and is very accessible from north or south.  Together with anticipated new residential, restaurant and hotel construction, the Hale Centre Theatre will be a key element of nightlife, and quality of life, in Sandy,” Smith said.

The theater moving to Sandy is part of the Sandy Civic Center Area 30-year Development Plan to promote and encourage commercial partnership, to invigorate downtown Sandy and to embrace Sandy City as “the other downtown.” 

Sandy City adopted a resolution back in August to develop the 11.5 acres surrounding the theater, including the construction of a two-level parking structure that will be protected from the elements and building another office building. 

“To have true downtown, you have to have certain elements associated with your community. We have Real Salt Lake, the Exposition Center, but we don’t have professional arts, and if you don’t embrace the arts then you can’t call yourself a downtown. The acceptance of the philosophy of ‘the other downtown’ means more restaurants, more transportation opportunities, more tourism and more things to improve the quality of life in Sandy City,” Councilman Chris McCandless said.

“When people come out to see the arts, they want to have a special experience,” McCandless said. “And the Hale Centre Theatre will deliver just that.”