The Utah Theatre is located at 148 Main Street, and is one of the city’s cultural treasures, which is not obvious from its dilapidated and boarded-up exterior. The theatre was designed by B. Marcus Priteca, built in 1919 for vaudeville, and later converted into a film theatre. Currently, the building is being developed as a Film and Media Arts Center.
The Salt Lake region is a leader in producing and showcasing independent film and in digital media incubation, and independent film brings in more than $70 million dollars to the state annually. The film and media arts coalition hopes to renovate the historic theatre into an 800-seat multi-use venue, national archive, and digital media cafe which would provide several services, including: film programming, particularly independent and documentary films; incubation for digital media, such as gaming; film festivals; youth education and multimedia classroom space; and community screenings.
The center will house several local non-profits, will host out-of-state filmmakers, and will provide 365 days of active use. The project has undergone a feasibility study and is now being studied for individual programming elements, that include such possibilities as a national archive, entering the design and construction phase.