BWW Special Coverage: Hale Centre Theatre to Expand in New Sandy Facility
It's official--Hale Centre Theatre (HCT) will be moving from West Valley to Sandy within the next two years. In the process, it will grow from approximately 42,000 square feet, 600 seats, and 400 performances per year to approximately 130,000 square feet, 1,350 seats, and 700 performances per year.
The new 56-million-dollar state-of-the-art theatre will be built at 9886 Monroe Street, near I-15 in Sandy. There are plans to break ground on the theatre in fall 2015 with an anticipated opening in early 2017.
Sandy City has marketed an approximately $42-million bond to finance the project, which Hale Centre Theatre will pay in full over time. As part of the project, HCT will provide world-class professional theatre productions, a Best of State theatre education program, and will bring millions of dollars' worth of theatre equipment, costumes, sets and props.
"Hale Centre Theatre will be a vibrant addition to The Cairns, our 1,100-acre city center, featuring an unparalleled live, work, play, shop combination boasting 20 million square feet of development," said Tom Dolan, Sandy City Mayor. "The unique 'Mountain Meets Urban' experience we are creating pairs world-class outdoor recreation with convenience, accessibility and unique offerings-truly a destination."
"We would truly like to thank Mayor Dolan and the Sandy City Council for including Hale Centre Theatre in their vision for the city," said Mark Dietlein, HCT president and CEO. "They are outstanding partners and have worked tirelessly to clear a path for the theatre to come to Sandy."
The local professional, non-equity theatre is building a new facility in order to create more opportunities for local artists and patrons to participate in high-quality family theatre. The proposed HCT building will feature two different stages: a unique, 450-seat proscenium thrust theatre and HCT's new 900-seat, state-of-the-art centre-stage theatre. Hale Centre Theatre anticipates attracting an estimated 500,000 patrons a year, to its new larger home.
The current 613-seat theatre in West Valley City has performed at nearly 100 percent capacity since 2004, with an average of more than 400 performances annually, which equals the number of performances of a popular Broadway show in a given year.
Hale Centre Theatre is commemorating its 30-year anniversary in 2015 and has come a long way since it was organized by live-theatre icons, Nathan and Ruth Hale, their daughter Sally Hale Rice and their grandson Mark Dietlein and his wife Sally. The first production, I CAME TO YOUR WEDDING, attracted 25 patrons at its original South Salt Lake location. Today, HCT welcomes more than 270,000 patrons annually.
"We know how very fortunate we are, through the extraordinary partnership with Sandy City, to be able to carry on Hale Centre Theatre's legacy of high-quality theatre productions for families," added Sally Dietlein, HCT vice president, executive producer and artistic director. "The additional square footage will not only allow HCT to produce more shows for the community and visitors, but it will also enable them to educate more youth on theatre arts."
Hale Centre Theatre currently employs 33 full-time people, nearly 75 part-time employees and approximately 300 part-time performers and artisans annually. HCT operators anticipate hiring an additional five to six full-time employees as well as 25 more part-time employees to support the new larger theatre in Sandy City. The increased number of productions on the two stages will also create a need for 200 additional part-time performers and artisans each year.
Hale Centre Theatre, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, is dedicated to providing "innovative, professional family theatre and theatre education that involves and elevates our community." Since 2005, the theatre has won 20 Best-of-State awards in Theatre Group/Director, Arts in Education and Professional Theatre. The organization, celebrating its 30-year anniversary in 2015, is currently located at 3333 South Decker Lake Drive in West Valley City, Utah. HCT employs a full-time staff of 33 with benefits, and a part-time staff of 75. The theatre pays more than 300 actors each year for their performances, all who live and work in Utah. HCT gives back to the community by donating theatre passes to and providing tours for hundreds of school children and non-profit organizations throughout the year. For more information about the current theatre season, educational programs and more visit www.HCT.org.