Salt Lake City Attractions and Activities
There are multiple tourist hotspots and main sites for you to visit here in Salt Lake City, Utah. From its various museums to the many theatres, as well as the multiple festivities that you can participate in and have a good time.
Salt Lake City is home to several museums. Near Temple Square is the Church History Museum; operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the museum contains collections of artifacts, documents, art, photographs, tools, clothing and furniture from the history of the LDS Church, which spans nearly two centuries. West of Temple Square, at The Gateway, is the Clark Planetarium, which houses an IMAX theater, and Discovery Gateway, a children’s museum. The University of Utah campus is home to the Utah Museum of Fine Arts as well as the Natural History Museum of Utah. Other museums in the area include the Utah State Historical Society, Daughters of Utah Pioneers Memorial Museum, Fort Douglas Military Museum, the Social Hall Heritage Museum, and The Leonardo, a new art, science and technology museum.
Salt Lake also is home to several classic movie theaters including the Tower Theatre and the Broadway Theater. Both of these iconic theaters host the Salt Lake Film Society members and shows. The Salt Lake Film Society also puts on free shows at the Rose Wagner Theater and the Salt Lake Public Library. Theaters now closed are Trolley Corners and Villa Theatre.
On December 5, 2007, the Salt Lake Chamber and Downtown Alliance announced a two-block section of downtown south of the planned City Creek Center is planned to become a new arts hub. This will include renovations to two theaters in the area and a new theater with a seating capacity of 2,400 and increased space for galleries and artists. The opening of the new facilities was anticipated to coincide with the opening of the City Creek Center in 2011, but have yet to be completed. The site of the $81.5 million theater was officially revealed and attempts to secure funding began. The theater plans have come under criticism, however, especially from nearby smaller theaters which host Off-Broadway tours and claim such a theater cannot be supported and will hurt their business.
Salt Lake City has a thriving and vibrant festival culture. Various festivals happen throughout the year, celebrating the diversity of the communities in the Salt Lake Valley. From culture, food, religion and spirituality, to dance, music, spoken word, and film, almost any type of festival can be found. Many of the festivals have been ongoing for decades.
Salt Lake City provides many venues for both professional and amateur theatre. The city attracts many traveling Broadway and Off-Broadway performances which perform in the historic Capitol Theatre. Local professional acting companies include the Pioneer Theatre Company, Salt Lake Acting Company and Plan-B Theatre Company, which is the only theatre company in Utah fully devoted to developing new plays by Utah playwrights. The Off-Broadway Theatre, in Salt Lake’s historic Clift Building, features comedy plays and Utah’s longest-running improv comedy troupe, Laughing Stock.
Salt Lake City is the home of The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square, founded in 1847. The choir’s weekly program, called Music and the Spoken Word, is the longest-running continuous network broadcast in the world. Salt Lake City is also the home to the Utah Symphony Orchestra, which was founded in 1940 by Maurice Abravanel and has become widely renowned. Its current music director is Thierry Fischer. The orchestra’s original home was the Salt Lake Tabernacle, but since 1979 has performed at Abravanel Hall in the western downtown area. In 2002, Utah Symphony merged with Utah Opera, which was founded in 1978 by Glade Peterson and under current Artistic Director Christopher McBeth presents four opera productions at Capitol Theatre in downtown Salt Lake City. Salt Lake City area is also home to the internationally renowned children’s choir from The Madeleine Choir School and the Salt Lake Children’s Choir (established in 1979).
The University of Utah is home to two highly ranked dance departments, the Ballet Department and the Department of Modern Dance. Professional dance companies in Salt Lake City include Ballet West, Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company (which celebrated its 45th anniversary season in 2008/2009) and Repertory Dance Theatre. RWDC and RDT both call the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center home.