SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Groups are working quickly in order to save the Utah Pantages Theater from being demolished and turned into an apartment tower.
The building is located at 144 146 South Main Street in Downtown Salt Lake City and has been there since the early 1920s. The theater was built for vaudeville-type shows and movies and ran for many decades. Due to structural damage and modifications by previous owners, the building has been closed to the public since 1992.
The Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake City currently owned the Theater until 2019 when they sold it off to a private developer.
The developer plans to build a 31-story luxury apartment tower in its place called 150 Main Street Apartments. The property is now currently owned by Hines Development out of Texas. The development told the courts they plan to demolish the building as soon as Tuesday, April 19.
Hines bought the property with an agreement to have a building with affordable units, historic elements of the theater, a downtown park, and public art.
Petitions, GoFundMe and Facebook pages have all been made in opposition to the development. A lawsuit was filed against the city last fall but was dismissed by the court on all claims.
The biggest hurdle for a complete restoration of the theater is cost. The estimated cost to bring the theater back to its original construction would cost anywhere from $40-$80 million dollars according to the SLCRDA (Salt Lake City Redevelopment Agency).
Unfortunately, the theater is not recognized by any State Historic organizations, so demolition on the site is still set to continue.
While the site is still closed to the public, multiple photo archives and a digital tour have been set up here.