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Arts, Culture & Religion

Eccles Theater Opens This Friday

Erik Neumann
A man stands on a balcony in the Eccles Theater lobby.

On Friday night the much-anticipated $119 million Eccles Theater opens in downtown Salt Lake City.

I’m standing with Cami Munk, the Communications Manager at the Eccles Theater, at one of the entrances to the main stage. It’s not open for visitors yet because rehearsals are happening, so we’re sneaking a look through one of the rear doors.

"Right now on stage they’re rehearsing the grand opening performance that happens on Friday night. We’re looking at this beautiful stage and what you can’t see, and what’s so cool about this room, is that the ceiling is full of stars," Munk says.

Before she can describe the look of the set any more, the lights come on. 

With arts organizations like Ballet West, the Utah Opera, and the Utah Symphony having permanent homes at other venues in town, Munk says one of the highlights of this space is that the 2,500 seat theater will open up lots more space for touring acts coming through town.

"Before the theater opened, we would get all the Broadway shows but we might have to get them later because of our date availability and our seating size," she says.

Proof according to Munk is that the hit Broadway play, Hamilton, is visiting on its first national tour in the 2017-2018 season.

To comply with Utah liquor laws, an enclosed bar has been installed in the theater’s restaurant where mixed drinks can be made out of sight, being called Zion’s ceiling, just in time for the grand opening on October 21st, 2016.

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