With Hale Centre Theatre’s seating capacity limited to 25% due to the pandemic, the venue is now taking a long-running tradition to the movies.
Starting Dec. 11, the theater’s production of “A Christmas Carol” — now in its 36th consecutive year — will screen at most Utah Megaplex Theatres from Logan to St. George, and will also be available for streaming at Broadway on Demand, according to a news release sent to the Deseret News.
The announcement comes just a few weeks after “The Forgotten Carols,” another Utah theater Christmas tradition, hit movie theaters regionally.
“Seeing ‘A Christmas Carol’ on the big screen will provide so much joy and hope this holiday season,” said Sally Dietlein, HCT’s executive producer and co-founder, in a statement. “For so many people in our community, it’s just not Christmas without seeing this production.”
Hale Centre Theatre’s adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic incorporates actual text from the 1843 story — an effort led by the late Richard Wilkins, a BYU law professor and Dickens scholar who for decades played the role of Ebenezer Scrooge until his death in 2012.
The production also features original scoring and carol arrangements from Utah composer Barlow Bradford, who from 1999-2003, served as first conductor of the Orchestra at Temple Square and as an associate conductor for the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square.
The upcoming film version stars David Weeks as Scrooge; Conlon Bonner as Dickens/Fred; Jonathan Fifield as Ghost of Christmas Present; Anthony Lovato as Bob Cratchit; Mia Bagley as Ghost of Christmas Past; and Matt Kohler as Jacob Marley.
Tickets are available at MegaplexTheatres.com and in person at box offices. Tickets for select in-person performances of “A Christmas Carol,” which runs through Dec. 26 at the Hale Centre Theatre, are also available at the theater’s website.
After 106 days of being shut down due to the pandemic, the Hale Centre Theatre reopened at the end of June. Since then, the theater has welcomed more than 140,000 guests with no known cases of COVID-19 spread, according to information given to the Deseret News.
In July, the theater temporarily suspended its production of “Mary Poppins” after two crew members tested positive for COVID-19, the Deseret News reported. A week prior, one actor in the production also tested positive.
At that time, the theater — requiring all patrons to wear masks — was seating at full capacity, which was in compliance with the Salt Lake County Health Department, according to the Deseret News. A few months later, the theater has shifted to meet updated local health guidelines, now restricting its attendance to 25% capacity.
“There’s such joy with the patrons being able to be back to the theater,” Dietlein told the Deseret News when the theater reopened in June. “After what everybody has been through, just kind of a real hunkered-down situation, I think people are just feeling so relieved that they can get back to doing the things they love.”