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Salt Lake City Breaks Ground on New Broadway-Style Theater

Whittney Evans

Local elected officials, members of the arts community and business and civic leaders came together in downtown Salt Lake City this morning to break ground on the new Broadway-Style Theater. They also announced the new name of the facility that is linked to a major financial contribution.

The George and Dolores Eccles Theater, which will be located on 135 south and Main Street is just a couple of years away from hosting its first Broadway performance. Crews began demolition on the block last fall. A $15 million gift from the Eccles foundation will help builders complete the project in 2016. Spencer Eccles says the contribution is indicative of his family’s continued support of the arts and local community.

“Because of the enthusiasm that this will bring, it should raise the level of support across the board and we plan to be instrumental in continuing to lead in the support for the arts groups across the board,” he says.

Other major investors include the Larry H. and Gail Miller Family Foundation and Delta Airlines.

Utah County native and Broadway performer Talon Ackerman says he’s excited to bring the bright lights home to his friends and family.  

“Performing on Broadway and being out in New York, the magic that you feel on the stage out there, it’s so hard to replicate, but if you have a theater this big that can handle those shows, I’m so happy that my home will be able to experience the magic that I love out there, you know?”

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker says the Eccles contribution is the largest private funding piece in the project. The $114 million theater is being paid for with private donations, existing revenue and new development.

Whittney Evans grew up southern Ohio and has worked in public radio since 2005. She has a communications degree from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, where she learned the ropes of reporting, producing and hosting. Whittney moved to Utah in 2009 where she became a reporter, producer and morning host at KCPW. Her reporting ranges from the hyper-local issues affecting Salt Lake City residents, to state-wide issues of national interest. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the guitar and getting to know the breathtaking landscape of the Mountain West.
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