Friday, May 30, 2008

OHPAA Long Range Capital Plans

Rod, Joline and I (and Nolan for a few short minutes) met on Wednesday with Bob Bailey, a consultant, and a delegation from the county working to develop Salt Lake County's "Cultural Arts Master Plan" to discuss the future of OHPAA and the Empress Theatre.
We gave them a tour of the Empress Theatre and the Magna Hardware building, discussed what we've accomplished so far and what we plan to do in the future.
As some of you may already know, the Empress Theatre is the only live theatre serving the west side of Salt Lake County (HCT, located on 2200 W is actually east of the geographical center of the valley.) The only other live performance venue to serve the west side is the Usana Ampitheatre in West Valley City. The purpose of our meeting was to ensure that OHPAA and the Empress Theatre are included in the master plan so that we don't get bypassed as arts development monies are appropriated and locations for venues are chosen.
As part of the discussion, we talked about OHPAA's longer range plans. We still need to purchase the Empress Theatre from Leo Ware's estate beofre our purchase option expires in August. We are also working on purchasing the old Magna Hardware building right nextdoor to the Empress. That building includes the parking lot to the west and the alley easement that runs from the Empress to 9180 West and the building that currently houses Walgamott Realty. Further down the road, but not much further, we are looking at acquiring the old Dyches Drug building across the street.
The hardware building will be rennovated for use as a set construction shop, costume shop, storage and possibly some office space. We might also open the upstage wall of the Empress Theatre stage to communicate with the hardware store building to allow us to move scenery back and forth between the two buildings rather than take it through the lobby as we do now.
The 6000 square foot main floor of the Dyches building would be used as a rehearsal hall, classroom, reception area, and possibly a small eatery and gift shop. We could also use that building as a black box theatre or for non-play type performances like our show choir or for events like dances. (Despite the overwhelming preference for an outdoor party with live entertainment, I still want to have a formal gala. Probably in the winter. Fortunately, we can do both!)
Finally, the parking lot west of the hardware store would be paved and marked, while the alley behind the Empress Theatre and the hardware store would either become additional parking or would be landscaped for outdoor events. And we'd probably add the parking behind the Dyches building as well.
All told, it will take about $750,000 to $1,000,000 just to purchase the buildings and do enough of the rennovation to allow us to open them up. We'll have to decontaminate the meth lab in the Dyches building, tear down that eyesore on top, and fix the roof. And probably double that to actually complete the project. But I think it is well worth the effort for both OHPAA's sake and for Magna's.
These plans are still in the development stages, and haven't even been voted on by the Board yet, but I thought folks would like to know what we're looking at in the future.

1 comment:

Shawna said...

Manelle took us to the Empress Theater last weekend to see "The Foreigner." Manelle and I are illustration buddies. My husband Warren is working on some things for you guys. Anyway, The Empress is a great little Theater! We loved it! We'll definetly be back for some more plays!