WEST VALLEY CITY — When Rob Brough, chairman of the Hale Centre Theatre board, introduced a 3-D model of Hale's new facility now rising to life in Sandy, he said it will likely be "unlike any other theater in the county, maybe even in the world."
As Jeff Beecher, vice president of Layton Construction, showcased the 3-D model, he described the two-stage theater's unique features — the mechanical intricacies that will lift, lower, rotate and slide segments of the stage; and the hoists and cranes that will make actors soar.
It's the same technology behind the world's most advanced stages — including Las Vegas' Cirque du Soleil.
"The interior of this building is incredible," Beecher said Thursday at Hale Centre Theatre's current home in West Valley City, where the 3-D model was unveiled. "There's so many things that have to take place both above and below the show. A lot of that is coming into place right now."
Nearly a year has passed since the $65 million theater's groundbreaking at 9886 S. Monroe St., Sandy, and the concrete shell of the 130,000-square-foot, 1,360-seat giant is taking shape.
With construction on track to open in time for the fall 2017 season, Hale Centre Theatre owners also took the opportunity Thursday to launch a campaign to help fund the nonprofit theater's new home.
For donors who contribute $100, their name will be etched on a plaque and placed on a wall in the new theater.
"With open arms, we embrace any contributions and hope the public as a whole is willing to come forward so you can claim hold of the fact you've helped make this theater a reality," said Hale Centre Theatre President Mark Dietlein.
Sally Dietlein, the theater's vice president, said she hopes Utahns will take advantage of the opportunity to contribute and be recognized on the new theater's walls.
"We are excited to present to you your glorious new theater, and hope that you'll play a part by chipping in a few dollars here and there," she said.
The Sandy City Council approved a $42.7 million bond to finance the project, with an agreement from Hale Centre Theatre to pay back the city in full over time.
More than $15 million in cash and pledges have been donated to help fund the theater's construction, but the Dietleins said other contributions — large and small — will help the community theater thrive.
Hale Centre Theatre has "outgrown" its current 613-seat facility in West Valley City, the Dietleins said, having functioned at nearly 100 percent capacity since 2004.
Moving into the larger facility will enable the theater to increase performances from 400 to 500 in 2017 and eventually grow to more than 700 performances between the two stages. Within five years, it's expected to serve 500,000 people a year.
The building's architect, Lyle Beecher, said Hale may be moving into a larger, state-of-the-art building, but it won't lose the "soft" and "homey" charm of its current West Valley theater.
"It's been important to keep the warmth," he said. "We feel the team and owners have found the materials to do that."
Sally Dietlein said she can't wait to show patrons the "magic" of the new theater.
"I don't think actors or patrons will fully understand how remarkable this space is until we really start playing with the toys," she said.
When Hale Centre Theatre starts serving patrons in its new theater, ticket prices will range from $14 for youths to $39 for adults.4 comments on this story
So far, Hale Centre Theatre has received contributions from more than seven donors, including the Sorenson Legacy Foundation, the Larry H. and Gail Miller Family Foundation, Kem and Carolyn Gardner, David and July Layton, Mountain America Credit Union and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Those wishing to donate to the theater can call 801-415-2340 or visit hct.org.