University Place Pledges $1 Million to Proposed Hale Center Theater Orem New Location

University Place Pledges $1 Million to Proposed Hale Center Theater Orem New Location

University Place, a 120-acre mixed-use community formerly known as University Mall, today announced it has pledged $1 million toward plans for a new Hale Center Theater Orem facility.

The donation officially kickstarts Hale Center Theater Orem's fundraising efforts to secure the additional investments necessary to move forward with the project. If fully funded, the location of the new theater will be immediately adjacent to The Orchard, the outdoor community gathering space at University Place.

Over the past few years, the demand for the arts entertainment and education provided by Hale Center Theater Orem has grown. The theater has experienced annual growth of more than five percent, and recently reached a benchmark of serving 150,000 patrons in a single year. Additionally, the population of Utah County continues to grow steadily, all of which contributes to the need for a larger facility.

"We're consistently in the 97 percent fill rate for our shows, but our current location doesn't allow us to grow in the way we need to," said Cody Swenson, executive director at Hale Center Theater Orem. "After working closely with city officials on how to best turn our expansion ideas into reality, the obvious location was University Place, because it is in essence the center of everything in Orem. We are extremely grateful for the generous support of University Place and the Woodbury family in helping us start this exciting new chapter."

Development plans for the Hale Center Theater Orem expansion include a new 568-seat theater with a proscenium thrust stage. This means the audience will surround three of the four sides of the stage, which follows Hale Center Theater's signature style of producing intimate and engaging theater experiences for patrons. Additionally, it is proposed that the facility include a black box theater with 200 seats, a grand lobby and more.

"We are grateful to the City of Orem for bringing both parties to the table and facilitating this partnership," said W. Richards Woodbury, chairman at Woodbury Corporation. "University Place is committed to both the arts and the community, so the idea of having Hale Center Theater Orem here as the crown jewel of our growing town center is very exciting."

Plans for the new theater were recently presented to Orem City. Subject to city approvals and achieving fundraising goals, construction on the new facility could start as early as 2020.

Opening in the early 1970s in Orem, Utah, University Place (formerly University Mall) is a 120acre development that initially only included retail-uses. Now, having completed the initial phases of a $500 million revitalization project, University Place is home to upscale residential, Class-A office and high-quality green space. University Place was first developed and is still owned and operated by Woodbury Corporation, a 4th generation family-run business, and one of the oldest and most respected full-service real estate development and management companies in the Intermountain West. For more information about University Place and updates on the project, visit http://www.universityplaceorem.com/. For more information about Woodbury Corporation, visit http://www.woodburycorp.com.

Founded in 1990 by Nathan and Ruth Hale, The Hale Center Foundation for the Arts & Education (HCFAE) is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit performing arts organization headquartered in Orem, Utah. The Foundation oversees the Hale Center Theater Orem that provides a full-season of main-stage productions (seven shows) and a youth season (five shows) and the Hale Academy for the Performing Arts that provides instruction in arts education. The Foundation's mission is to provide a high quality, intimate, theatrical experience while maintaining affordable ticket prices; furnish an excellent venue for artists to express their talents and gain valuable experience; and invest in people by providing a positive place for children and adults to learn and perform. For more information about the Hale Center Foundation for the Arts & Education, visit http://www.haletheater.org.

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