Utah’s Venue Visions

Salt Lake City could be singing show tunes following the recent announcement of plans for a 2,400-seat, $81.5 million theatre.

The city has partnered with a development arm of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to purchase a former newspaper building that would house the venue, officials said.

“Our downtown is the right place for a theatre of this size,” city council chairwoman Jill Remington Love told the Salt Lake Tribune.

Officials estimate the theatre, scheduled to open as soon as 2012, could house touring Broadway productions about 15 weeks per year. Further, the venue could contribute as much as $22 million to the local economy annually, according to feasibility studies.

However, SLC officials aren’t the only ones with venue visions in the region.

The city of Sandy, a suburb of Salt Lake, has also made a bid for a theatre.

A local developer has announced plans for a 2,700-seat, $55 million venue in the city that would be financed with redevelopment funds and could debut as early as 2011, the Tribune said.

The county of Salt Lake could apparently play a role in deciding which city gets the green light. A county theatre study is forthcoming.