For the past two years the SLC Film Center, Salt Lake Film Society and Spy Hop Productions have been meeting with other downtown stakeholders to consider how film can play a larger and more permanent role in the cultural landscape of downtown. The result of these discussions is the formation of the Utah Film and Media Arts Coalition.
The Utah Film and Media Arts Coalition is committed to building a world-class facility in downtown Salt Lake City, a statewide resource dedicated to the creation and exhibition of independent film and new media. Modeled after the Rose Wagner, this facility would house film arts organizations providing core programming dedicated to film and media arts, to emphasize the core components of film exhibition, education and entertainment established under one roof in Salt Lake City, including:
- Film Programming: independent, international and documentary film exhibition
- Community Outreach: free screenings and education programs including access to film for underserved communities in the state
- Film and Media Arts Education: classes and workshops for children, youth and adults on film research and appreciation, screenwriting, film production and emerging media arts and technology
- Independent Film Archive and Reference Library: a newly-created archive dedicated to preserving the history of independent film with access to materials for scholarly and student research
- Office space for production companies making films in Utah and office space for post licensed digital media technologies spinning out of educational institutions
This hybrid model of business development and media arts education with first-run and community programming would allow tenant organizations to redirect their resources to serve a larger population and to support new film and media start up ventures. A facility focused on such a program model would generate economic revenue through increased demand for residential living downtown and enhanced tourism venues. The Center would propel Utah to the leading edge in media arts, assisting in the growth of well-established businesses and encouraging incremental new investment in the film industry in Utah.
The vision assumes the Center would be housed in the Utah Theatre. The re-creation of this cultural jewel is a key component in revitalizing the heart of downtown as the cultural core of our community. When combined with other critical building blocks such as the new Ballet School, the renovated Capitol Theater and the proposed Utah Performing Arts Center, the Utah Film and Media Arts Center will anchor a vibrant cultural and economic core in the heart of Salt Lake City.
Supporting New Technology Start-ups
Dedicated office space could be made available for digital media spin-offs. This facility could house 3-5 start-up companies and a digital media lab that would be shared with local filmmakers and students.
Economic Development for Film Production
This facility would allow Utah to better accommodate and attract film production to the state by providing temporary workspace for film crews preparing to start production in Utah, and the Utah Theater could be used as a location or for set production 60-80 days of the year.
Added Momentum to Revitalization of Downtown
The Utah Theater is ideally positioned to support the economic regeneration of downtown Salt Lake City and to solidify the center of arts and culture in the state. By offering a wide range of programming, available from 10 a.m. to midnight on 365 days a year, a newly renovated Utah Theater would provide a consistent slate of arts and cultural offerings estimated to attract patrons to downtown Salt Lake City, which in turn would stimulate economic activity for surrounding downtown businesses.
Education and Professional Development
This facility would provide offices and classrooms to provide accredited professional development for educators.