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Broadway-Style Theater Design Unveiled

Salt Lake City officials unveiled the design scheme for the city’s new 2500 seat, Broadway-style Theater. It’s sleek and modern, but designers say they didn’t lose sight of the city’s surrounding historic architecture. 

Cesar Pelli is the lead architect for design firm Pelli Clark Pelli. He says the design scheme includes what he calls the city’s existing DNA. The New Performing Arts Center will be located on Main Street in downtown Salt Lake City, just south of City Creek Center.

“I tried to capture so that we could have a building that would be fresh and new but still part of the family like a new child," Pelli says. "It doesn’t look like anybody in the family, but it’s a member of the family.”

Pelli says his team also worked to satisfy community’s wishes to revive Regent Street, which is the mid-block street that runs north to south behind the new theater.

“Which is fairly difficult because theaters need a front and they need a back where all of the junk is," Pelli says. "We don’t have a place to put all of the junk. We had to make it disappear.”

Salt lake County Mayor Ben McAdams says existing theaters in the region are bursting at the seams.

“We turn away many events each year because we have no dates to give them," McAdams says. "Popular shows like Wicked would stay longer in Salt Lake if we had more dates available. So building the New Performing Arts Center will allow us to bring more of what we love.”

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker says the new theater will support and add to existing arts organizations.

“It’s exciting in that it’s a beautiful structure but for me as exciting is the way it integrates into the rest of downtown and this block."

The $116 million project is funded by existing tax revenues. Becker says about 20 percent of the funding will be private contributions. It will be jointly owned by Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County.

The theater is slated to open in 2016. 

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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