City officials agree with Hale Center Theatre: the show must go on
West Valley City officials recently drafted an amendment to the lease agreement that binds Hale Center Theatre to its home in the city.
Hale Center will continue to lease the building it currently occupies at 3333 South Decker Lake Drive, but now has the option to buy the property after 12 years. Previously, Hale Center could only renew its lease every three years, and the first term of the sublease expired in 2016.
“This is an agreement between West Valley City and Hale Center Theatre designed to extend their first term of commitment, which ends at the end of 2016, and also to facilitate their presence there in the facility, as well as aid them and support them as a community in their proposed expansion of their project there in the Decker Lake area,” West Valley City Manager Wayne Pyle said.
The West Valley City Municipal Building Authority is the current owner of the property at 3333 South Decker Lake Drive. The city leases the parcel of land from the Building Authority and built the theatre building, which is also known as the West Valley City Harman Hall Community Theatre.
Currently, the city subleases use of the property to Hale Center Theatre.
A nonprofit organization, Hale Center produces staged performances of family and cultural entertainment.
The theatre facility, a 42,000-square-foot building, officially opened its curtains on productions to the public in West Valley City at its current location in 1998.
The theatre has also been home to major public cultural events, such as 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics activities, and has hosted viewings of the Stanley Cup.
Hale Center representatives approached city officials and attended council meetings last fall to propose working with the city in future attempts to expand the facility. The group has discussed moving into a larger building or expanding into a campus model by purchasing buildings that surround the existing facility in West Valley City.
The Hale group has also approached officials in other cities, such as Sandy, to determine future options for expansion
The final decision has not been yet made about where or how Hale Center Theatre will expand.
“The Hale Center Theatre board is currently assessing expansion options and hopes to make a decision sometime in 2013. While expansion will offer tremendous opportunities, our commitment to providing the same intimate experience and affordable family theatre will never change. Regardless of what decision is made, Hale Center Theatre will continue to perform in the current theatre for several more years,” Hale Center Theatre Board of Trustees Chair Rob Brough said in an official statement.
West Valley city officials entered into the renewed agreement with Hale Center Theatre in order to keep the organization local, rather than see them move to another city at the end of the lease term.
According to the resolution approved by the city council on Dec. 18, “the city has determined that it is in the best interests of the health, safety and welfare of the city and its residents to enter into this agreement to continue its relationship with Hale which will continue to present theatrical productions that will expand and enrich the cultural and recreational opportunities available to the residents of the city.”
During the meeting, city council members expressed support for keeping Hale Center Theatre local, and said the partnership between the theatre group and the city has been positive.
“We’re happy to have them here. They’ve been an important part of our city, and I’m just thrilled that they’ve come to us with a request to amend that lease to extend it out 22 years through 2038,” West Valley City Councilmember Dave Buhler said.