3333 South Decker Lake Drive
West Valley, City, UT 84119
Hale Centre Theatre is a venerable Salt Lake institution, founded and largely staffed by the Hale family. Patriarch and matriarch Ruth and Nathan Hale started the Glendale Centre Theatre in Southern California in 1947. The theater (still in operation today, run by Ruth and Nathan’s daughter and son-in-law Allan and Sandra Dietlein) focuses on family-friendly comedies, many written by Ruth Hale. In 1985 the couple retired to southern Utah but soon became involved with the Hale Centre Theatre in Salt Lake City, started in 1985 by their daughter Sally Rice and grandson Mark Deitlein.
The original Hale Centre Theatre was housed in an old lingerie factory with used seats and low-budget sets. Its productions were popular, though, and in 1998 the company moved into a beautiful, high-tech theater in West Valley City. HTC emphasizes family entertainment. You won’t find edgy material here—mainly popular musicals and comedies, with some original productions. Ticket prices are relatively low—$26 for adults and $15 for children.
The Hales are a creative bunch, and many of Ruth and Nathan’s children and grandchildren and their spouses are involved with the theater. Grandson Will Swensen was nominated for a 2009 Tony Award for his role in the Broadway revival of Hair. Distant cousin Shannon Hale is a bestselling writer of young adult fiction. Other family members founded Halestorm Entertainment, a successful production company in the LDS movie market.
Update: Hale Centre Theatre in West Valley City has announced that they will be moving to a new facility in Sandy, near the Sandy City Hall. The new theater will have about 1800 seats, triple the size of the current facility.