As the Very Reverend Rick Lawson threw a ceremonial Champagne bottle against a huge retaining wall, it became official. The Salt Lake County Center for the Arts and Ballet West celebrated a milestone in the Capitol Theater renovation currently underway. Newly appointed Ballet West Executive Director, Scott Altman called the christening a watershed moment in the history of the company.
“We believe the Jesse Eccles Quinney Ballet Centre and the Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theater will be an important anchor in the Salt Lake cultural core, attracting new business and audience members, and increasing the level of economic development in the area,” says Altman.
Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams says the proposed December 1st completion of the theater renovation is on-schedule despite a loss of $4.1 million dollars from other sources. He says private funders increased their contributions to fill the void.
The lobby of the Capitol Theater will be expanded into the Ballet West Academy next door. Former executive director of the ballet, Johann Jacobs says safety and access issues will be solved and the academy can expand from accepting 200 students per year to 600.
“It’s rare for a company to be working and rehearsing in the theater that it’ll be performing in, in the same facility," says Jacobs. "So that is a very, very special opportunity for Ballet West,” he says.
The other planned renovations include a new heating and air conditioning system, better sight lines with the stage raised four inches, and adjustable acoustics for the various types of performances.