Capitol Theatre Renovation

After six months of renovations, the Capitol Theatre reopened 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 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.