Capitol Theare (Art Salt Lake)
Capitol Theare (Art Salt Lake)

After six months of renovations, the Capitol Theatre reopens on Saturday, October 12, with Utah Opera’s production of Verdi’s La Traviata.  

“We are so pleased to welcome patrons and performers back to the newly renovated Capitol Theatre,” said Sarah Pearce, Division Director for Salt Lake County Arts & Culture, the owner and operator of the venue. “We especially appreciate the partnership and cooperation of our Resident companies, Ballet West and Utah Opera, during this extensive project.” 

The first thing Pearce hopes patrons notice is the newly restored terra cotta roof façade. The façade, built in 1913, was restored by the original terra cotta manufacturer, Gladding McBean, in Sacramento, California. Utah’s Kepco+ led the façade restoration and designed an attachment system that can withstand local weather conditions and a seismic event.   

Inside the theatre a new staircase leads from the lobby to the auditorium and there are significant changes in seating on the Orchestra level.  

“We created a new entrance and center aisle that allows patrons to access new ADA seating in the center of the Orchestra level and improves exiting from the auditorium,” said Pearce. “The new structure that forms the center aisle is elegant and complements the existing architectural elements.” 

In addition to the seating, another major feature that will impact patrons is the newly installed sound system.  

“The new sound system fulfills a long-standing need at the Capitol Theatre and opens up new possibilities for concerts and spoken word events,” said Jeff Gwilliam, the Associate Division Director of Operations for Salt Lake County Arts & Culture. “The Capitol’s new system provides cleaner sound overall and better coverage for the back of the orchestra, mezzanine, and balcony sections. 

Major infrastructure upgrades include a new roof, new plumbing and pipes, and two new boilers.  The new boilers will improve the energy efficiency of the building significantly, taking it from 60% efficiency to 90%.  

“The Capitol Theatre is a high-profile facility and the project team has worked hard to complete the renovations with great care and craftsmanship,” said Gwilliam.  

The Capitol Theatre project team includes:

  • Salt Lake County Arts & Culture and Salt Lake County Facilities
  • HKS Architects
  • Big-D Construction
  • KEPCO+ 
  • Construction Control Corporation 

Utah Opera’s presentation of Verdi’s La Traviata is the first production in the renovated space and runs from Saturday, October 12 – Sunday, October 20, 2019.  Tickets are available from utahopera.org or artsaltlake.org.

The first round of Capitol Theatre renovations completed in 2014 included the addition of the Jessie Eccles Quinney Ballet Centre; an expanded lobby and new reception rooms; new patron amenities including restrooms, new concessions and coat check stands, and a renovated ticket office; improved stage sightlines; new seating upholstery and padding; and new carpeting. 

Salt Lake County Arts & Culture owns and operates the Capitol Theatre.

What: After six months of renovations, the Capitol Theatre is reopening for the 2019-20 season.  Utah Opera will hold the first performances in the newly renovated theatre with Verdi’s La Traviata running from October 12 – October 20.  

When: Friday, October 11, 2019

Where: Capitol Theatre, 50 West 200 South, Salt Lake City, UT

Who: Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson

Utah Opera Artistic Director Christopher McBeth

Ballet West Artistic Director Adam Sklute

Representatives of the Capitol Theatre Construction Team

Why: After six months of renovations, the Capitol Theatre is reopening for the 2019-20 season.  

Renovations include:

  • New ADA seating and a center aisle on the Orchestra level.
  • A new sound system.
  • Re-installation of the restored terra cotta roof façade.
  • Reconfiguration of basement workspaces.
  • New ADA dressing room.
  • New roof, boilers, pipes and plumbing.


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