Salt Lake City’s Capitol Theatre is a must for culture buffs. Dancers, actors and singers entertain crowds with famous ballet, Broadway and opera shows most nights of the week. Regional auditions for TV talent shows are also held here. Adding to the theatrical environment, some locals say the theater is haunted.
This cultural center opened its doors in 1913 as the Orpheum Theatre. It was designed by renowned theater architect Gustave Albert Lansburgh. The building features an ornate facade with elaborate statues. The original marble staircases and floors are still intact.
Capitol Theatre was a motion picture house back in the ‘20s. A young usher was killed in a backstage fire in 1947, and some believe his spirit still roams the theater. Locals talk of spontaneously operating elevators and lights, and even sightings of the unfortunate usher’s ghost. Salt Lake County bought the theater in the 1970s and today it’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Dress up for the occasion and catch a show in the majestic building. Ballet West has its headquarters and studios in the theater. The regional company often performs old-time favorites, such as Cinderella and The Nutcracker.
The Capitol Theatre is home to the Utah Opera and the Children’s Dance Theatre, and is a venue for Broadway Across America. Catch a large-scale production such as The Phantom of the Opera or Les Miserables. Modern-day musical versions of blockbuster cartoon movies are popular with younger crowds. Special events include auditions for television shows, including So You Think You Can Dance, that are open to the public.
Buy tickets for productions from the Capitol Theatre website in advance.
The Capitol Theatre sits on Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City. Street parking is free late at night and all day during weekends. To avoid paying to park, take public transport during weekday business hours. Buses are free in the downtown corridor.