By Palak Jayswal
Salt Lake Film Society has announced that the 95-year old Tower Theatre in Salt Lake City’s 9th and Ninth district will be closed until 2023.
Tower Theatre launched a new project on Thursday called “Tower Theatre – The Next 100 years.”
According to the nonprofit arts organization, SLFS, it will repair and renovate the theater in order to create a cultural center that will offer nostalgic and modern cinematic experiences, which are uncensored and environmentally friendly. These experiences will include unique technological film screenings, DVDs and “museum like exhibits”.
The Alternative Visions Fund granted the Film Society a grant in December to purchase the Tower Theatre from its landlord.
According to the SLFS site, “This acquisition allows Tower to start anew.” We are therefore moving away from the previously reported cosmetic upgrades in order to start serious long-term plans.
Salt Lake Film Society has operated the theater since 2001. It was constructed in 1928 and became an art house cinema during the 1980s. In 2002, SLFS acquired the six-screen Broadway Centre Cinemas. Tower and Broadway closed their doors in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The Broadway reopened its doors in October 2021. Tower’s reopening was delayed because of supply chain issues.
According to an update from the film society, the Tower’s plans will require time, funding, and support. The theater is not expected to reopen before 2023. The nonprofit organization said that it would form a committee consisting of local leaders and stakeholders to plan the future of the theater.
SLFS stated that it would be a community project and will post updates on its social media and website.
The current repair work includes retrofitting the Tower’s marquee, installing rain gutters, repairing the roof, addressing interior seal issues, and tearing down the old lobby to make way for ADA accessible bathrooms. Old bathrooms in the Tower were small and located at basement level.
The Tower, Salt Lake Film Society’s premier venue for film, will feature director/actor Q&As and cultural and environment films. Panel discussions and archival access to film are also available.
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