I've always maintained this when other theaters come into communities: I don't think it's a bad thing for us. I think the more theater that might be there, it's always more opportunities for the community to have the theater experience and to expose more people to it.I think that what Salt Lake City is trying to do with an arts district downtown makes perfect sense to me. But I've served on a number of feasibility studies, and I never recommend theaters larger than 1,000 to 1,200 seats. I think that just loses the purpose of live theater. When you get into large venues, it's just not the same experience. There has to be a connection between an audience and artist. Scott Phillips, Utah Shakespearean Festival
I don't know if the demand is there. The notion that you can keep bringing people to the theater and asking them to pay $50 to $75 10 times a year is a difficult thing to do. If we're going to have one of these, I think it needs to be downtown. People could come downtown for conventions and the notion of "we could see a Broadway show while we're at the convention," that could help the argument that it should be in a central location. It's still the notion of getting people out of their homes and into the world that's important. I think that's our competition getting people out. David Chambers, Salt Lake Acting Company
I think it's inevitable with what's happening downtown and the major reconstruction. And I do happen to think that kind of thing needs the synergy of a downtown. With the Capitol and other existing things, it makes good sense to make that work that way.
But it is going to have consequences. This pie is not unlimited. We can't keep thinking that people are going to keep coming and coming, because there are challenges there.I think it is going to impact local arts organizations and, I think, in the short term, not positively. Long term, I think it's going to be a good thing. Richard Scott, Grand Theatre
I personally don't feel like it's needed. I'm not programming on that scale. But I just don't think a venue that size is sustainable long term. The heyday of the Broadway touring show is over. Jerry Rapier, Plan-B Theatre Company
I'm not so sure that all cultural things should be downtown. I think that it can be wherever. People travel in this valley, and if things are just easy to get to and have good parking, people will go. I know there are certain people who feel like all the event-based entities should be downtown. I'm not sure I understand why they say that. Sally Deitlein, Hale Centre Theatre