Ralph Rodgers, former manager of the Promised Valley Playhouse, opened the Pages Lane Theater in 1991, in a strip mall, between Dick's Market and an old Deseret Industries. After he passed away in 1997, the theater became the Rodgers Memorial Theatre. The 250-seat theater had low ceilings, uncomfortable seats, and lacked much-needed space. The stage had nothing in the way of fly space, which was very limiting creatively and technically.”
Scott VanDyke, a longtime board member, said, “Coming into the old Rodgers, people would walk into the old strip mall and think, 'Oh gosh,' but they'd leave saying, 'For being a tiny hole-in-the-wall, that was a pretty darned good production.'”
On 12 February 2011, Rodgers Memorial Theatre became CenterPointe Legacy Theatre, the resident company of the new Davis Cultural Arts Center.[2 & 3] The new facility was a partnership formed by Rodgers Memorial Theatre, Davis County Arts organizations, the cities of Bountiful and Centerville, and the Davis County Commission. Funding came from multiple sources, including recreation, arts, and parks tax funds from Centerville and Bountiful.
A “construction kickoff” event was held on 28 May 2009, even though the work had been taking place on the site for months. The intent was to show potential investors that the project had begun in earnest and was not just conceptual. Davis County commissioners presented a first installment check of $800,000 from funds collected from tourism activities in the county. Officials expected $500,000 to be raised by the South Davis Performing Arts Association, which was to manage the $14 million facility after its completion.
Hogan Construction was the contractor for the construction project. Scott VanDyke, a board member, designed the facility.
The gala opening night on 12 February 2011 featured a ribbon cutting ceremony and food donated by neighboring restaurants. CenterPoint Legacy Theatre presented its first show, “Hairspray.”[2 & 3] Ron Russell, Mayor of Centerville, said, “This building has been the passion and dream of a number of people in both Centerville and Bountiful for many years. There is a lot of history behind trying to put together a project to build a building like this.”
The main auditorium of the 63,000-square-foot facility has 525 seats, with 325 on the floor level and 200 in the balcony. The 2,761-square-foot stage has a red Austrian grand curtain and bows out slightly toward the audience, to create greater intimacy. Red Austrian. A motorized lift system has three sections that can move independently, “allowing for freedom in set changes and staging.” The lift system can be used for “everything from an orchestra pit to dramatic costume changes.” The sixty-foot-high fly loft has 21 lines that can be used for large set pieces, backdrops, and even performers.
Below the stage are rehearsal rooms lined with mirrors. The main rehearsal space follows the exact thrust shape of the stage, “a valuable asset for directors and choreographers staging a show.” A black box theater seats up to 200, depending on the configuration. The facility also includes rooms for auditioning, large dressing rooms, green rooms equipped with small kitchens, new pianos, a new sound system, a large workshop for set building, a costume shop, and storage space.
An outdoor amphitheater will likely be completed after another summer.
1. "Rodgers Memorial Theatre is changing name and facility", Deseret News, 3 April 2010
2. "Performing arts center opens in Davis", Deseret News, 12 February 2011
3. "New Davis theater offering spiffier amenities designed for performers and patrons", Deseret News, 5 March 2011
4. “Construction 'kickoff' held for Davis Cultural Arts Center”, Deseret News, 30 May 2009