By Tamara Vaifanua, FOX 13
A vision years in the making is now a reality.
On Tuesday, the George S. and Dolores Dore Eccles Theater celebrated its grand opening. Spencer F. Eccles cut the ribbon, symbolizing the official opening of a venue bearing his uncle and aunt’s name.
“It’s really been an honor and a privilege to help bring this theater dream to life, and to have it reflect the Eccles family many generations for love of theater and the arts as we carry on their foundation’s legacy,” said Spencer F. Eccles, chairman and CEO of the Eccles Foundation.
Their dream was carried out by Salt Lake County and city leaders.
“Mayor Becker’s commitment to elevating Salt Lake City’s cultural center should be applauded. Thank you Ralph!” said Lisa Adams with Redevelopment Agency of SLC.
From breaking ground in June of 2014, to the unraveling of a magnificent Broadway-style theater two years later, the major players who lifted the project off the ground couldn’t hold back their emotions.
“I get a little emotional thinking about the times we’ve been through. Seeing a building come down first and then another building come up,” said Max Burdick, board chairman of the Utah Performing Arts Center Agency.
A five-story grand lobby greets audiences and they can enjoy performances in a 2,500-seat performance hall. Local singing sensation, Lexi Walker, was first to perform on the stage as she greeted guests at the grand opening.
Local and national productions will take center stage catering to different types of audiences. So far, ticket sales have exceeded what was originally projected.
“The target was 6,500. I am pleased to tell you that today we have 14,000 subscribers for our opening season,” Adams said.
Stakeholders envision the downtown anchor as a gathering place for people from all over the world to enjoy the arts.
“It’s not just about the economic development it will bring, the nightlife and activity it will bring to our streets – it’s about the memories that will be formed by families, individuals, people who are visiting our capitol city,” said Ben McAdams, Salt Lake County Mayor.