Hale Center Theater|
(Hale Center Theater Orem)
225 West 400 North
The Hale and Swenson families opened the Hale Center Theater Orem in 1990. The 305-seat theater was built in the old Veterans Hall, which as also served as a school, dance studio, church, and reception center.
The Hale Center Theater presents plays in-the-round, with the stage in the center and seating surrounding it all on sides.
"In traditional proscenium theater, there are great physical distances between the artistic elements and the patrons," said owner Cody Swenson. "At Hale Center Theater Orem, that has never been the case. The audience has been and always will be so close to the stage and the performers that some can literally reach out and touch them."
At 11,000 square feet, space inside the current theater is quite limited. Props are stored off site or outside, and carefully-scheduled rehersals take place in the basement or in a nearby high school. In 2000, owners planned to build a new theater in the Pinehurst Plaza on 800 North, but negotiations broke down after the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers. A plan to move into the ground floor of the Midtown Village complex foundered after developers considered it too problematic fitting a theater beneath residential living space.
Ground was broken on 16 November 2007 for a $7.5 million facility in a separate building at the Midtown Village development, but construction was put on hold by May 2008 due to the struggling economy. The 522-seat theater was to feature a winch-driven fly system, a larger stage with slip stages and movable sections, and a tension grid ceiling. With 39,686 square feet, it would have had almost twice the seating, restroom, and rehearsal space.[1 & 2]
1. "Hale Center: Beautiful new theater will be 3 times bigger", 27 December 2007, Deseret Morning News
2. "Hopes for a grand, new Hale Center dim yet again", 4 May 2008, Deseret News