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There’s an excited buzz in Sandy City lately as hundreds of construction workers build a unique 1,100-acre city center known as The Cairns. “One only has to look around to realize that the momentum is building in this area.” says Sandy’s Deputy Mayor, Nicole Martin. “Everyone is excited to be a part of The Cairns City Center,” she explains. “It’s such a unique and important project because it will create sustainability for Sandy City for generations to come.”

The crown jewel of The Cairns City Center is the massive new Hale Centre Theatre at the Mountain America Performing Arts Center. “We are so grateful to Sandy mayor Tom Dolan and the city council who have embraced us with open arms,” said Mark Dietlein, President and Co-founder of the Hale Centre Theatre. “To create a theater of this magnitude has required city leaders to really catch the vision of what the theater can do for the community, and to make available the financial means to fulfill that vision.”

For the past several years, the Hale Centre Theatre has been bursting at the seams in its West Valley location, with patrons clamoring for a bigger venue. The new theater answers the call in a big way, more than doubling the existing seating capacity with two stages under one roof—the 900-seat Center Stage Theater and the 460-seat horseshoe-shaped theater, called the Jewel Box. But more impressive than the increase in seating capacity, is the theater’s huge increase in technological capabilities.

“The Center Stage Theater has a multitude of different stages that lift and rotate. We can drop the main stage to switch sets, and when it goes underground, slip stages come across so we can continue to perform,” Dietlein said, his face lighting up with enthusiasm. “This allows us the ability to continue the storytelling without any interruptions during the production. Instead of going ‘black’ and moving sets on and off, we can transform the setting right in front of the audience’s eyes.”

The company working with the theatre to increase its technological capabilities is Tait Stage Technologies, renowned for creating awe-inspiring spectaculars, complex touring stages, and theatre automation for huge events across the world, including the Olympic Games, extravagant Las Vegas productions, and concerts for the biggest names in the music business like The Rolling Stones, Beyonc, Taylor Swift, Madonna, and more.

“The people at Tait Stage Technologies have told us that there is no live stage theater in the world that has as much stage technology under one roof as we will have here at the Hale Centre Theatre. We will be able to create a ‘wow factor’ that will be unavailable anywhere else,” said Dietlein. “We are combining the latest technology with the traditional form of theater to give audiences something very special that they will love.”

Hale Centre Theatre is the perfect addition to help Sandy achieve its “Live, Work, Play, and Shop” vision for the Cairns City Center. “Theater and dinner go hand-in-hand, so all the restaurants in this area will benefit from patrons who come to see a show,” said Dietlein. “The theater will also help fill hotels, as a good number of our patrons come from out of state. The entire project provides some exciting nightlife and brings a positive energy to the city.”

“We’re hearing nothing but excitement from our residents,” said Martin. “They’re excited to have more entertainment options and thrilled to have dining options. A newly renovated mall is something people are looking forward to exploring. The sense of community that is being created by The Cairns with a very walkable city center is something that Sandy has never had before. So there’s just a lot of excitement across the board.”

Read more from the Utah League of Cities and Towns on DeseretNews.com or visit their website at ulct.org.