While one of Salt Lake City's historic theatrical landmarks is about to be razed (the art-deco Centre Theater at State & Broadway), another landmark barely a block away - the former Rialto Theater just south of Main & Broadway - will soon reopen as a "legit" theater.
Ironically, seats in the renovated Rialto (to be rechristened The Broadway Stage), are coming from the Centre, which will be bulldozed down sometime in February.The Broadway Stage's artistic director, William Sargent, moved to Salt Lake City last fall with his wife from Los Angeles. Trained in theater in New York, Sargent has worked as an actor on stage, film and television for 25 years on both coasts. He also designed and built the former Oxford Theater (now the Ensemble Theater) in Los Angeles, where he taught and directed during the late 1960s.
Sargent says The Broadway Stage's resident acting company will be a nonprofit group being called Hiatus Productions, Inc. He expects to produce 4-6 plays yearly.
He'll also make the intimate, 270-seat facilities available on "dark" nights (or weeks) as a performing arts recital hall for musicians, dancers and singers. Co-productions and theater rentals for the arts will also be considered.
Sargent anticipates the theater will be open by May.
For further information call 359-6534 (evenings) or 359-4111. The latter number is for the new phone at the theater - but with Sargent supervising the renovation work, he suggested that it would probably be easier to contact him at home.
Before it closed in 1984, the theater was the Midtown Trolley.