SALT LAKE CITY — If the Capitol Theatre had a scrapbook, it would be thick with 105 years of memories.
Since opening its doors in 1913, the thriving arts venue has housed a wide variety of acts, ranging from silent film to ballet to opera. The Italian Renaissance-style building in downtown Salt Lake City has also undergone several renovations and even survived a fire in 1949.
Now, the theater is turning to arts patrons for help with its next chapter. Not long after Utah Opera’s run of “The Magic Flute” in March 2019, the theater will close for a six-month renovation. The redevelopment will include a seating reconfiguration on the theater’s main floor and a new center cross-aisle, according to a news release.
To get arts lovers involved in the history, Ballet West, Utah Opera and the Salt Lake County Center for the Arts launched the Take Your Seat in History campaign on Oct. 15. The campaign allows patrons to select and name a Capitol Theatre seat — a name that will be engraved on a brass plaque on the chair's armrest for 10 years.
“This is an innovative way for our audiences to personalize a little piece of the Capitol Theatre and support and preserve the artistic legacy we all strive to create and nurture,” said Paul Meecham, president and CEO of Utah Symphony and Utah Opera, in the release.
Patrons can “find their seat” for as little as $100 — all tax deductible — at artsaltlake.org, according to the release. Seat sales run through June 30, 2019, and will be sold by ArtTix, the theater's official ticketing agency. All contributions will be split evenly between Ballet West, Utah Opera and the Center for the Arts, which will use their portion of funds raised to establish the Capitol Theatre Innovation Development Fund, according to the release. This new program will allow arts organizations to create and perform new works at the theater.Comment on this story
After making a contribution, patrons will receive an emailed receipt with instructions on how to provide the name for the seat plaque, according to arttix.artsaltlake.org. They can name a seat after a loved one, share a favorite quote or mark a special anniversary, according to the release.
“Our patrons have a deep connection to this theater where ballet, opera and art thrive,” said Michael Scolamiero, Ballet West’s executive director, in the release. “I know they will be excited to have their names, or the names of their families, engraved in a place where they have laughed, felt inspired and made lasting memories.”