Draper Historic Theatre/Draper, UT

The Salt Lake Tribune

WednesdaySeptember 1, 2010

Theater seeks help to stay afloat

By Katie Drake, The Salt Lake Tribune

Draper » Things were finally starting to look up for Draper Historic Theatre when vandals shattered financial hopes, along with the front windows.

On Aug. 24, someone broke into the theater with a baseball bat. Now the already-struggling theater is hoping to stay afloat with a rummage sale and a hand from the community.

Plywood covers the front windows, and though the carpets have been cleaned, they still glisten with glass. The theater is hoping insurance will cover the damage, including replacing the carpets, said Craig Haycock, executive secretary of the theater’s board. The children’s dressing room, at the front of the theater, had several windows broken, and Haycock worries a child could be cut on glass working its way through the carpet if it is not replaced.

The repairs are estimated at $9,800 to $11,000, Haycock said, money the theater simply does not have. About 50 percent of the theater’s funds come from ticket sales, which have slumped in the down economy. The theater had to cancel its scheduled summer production, "High School Musical 2," because the board could not afford the $3,500 for the rights to perform the play.

Board members have paid the electrical bills, construction costs and lighting upgrades out of their own pockets, hoping to someday be reimbursed. Next season could see fewer classic musicals and plays and more work by local playwrights, which helps keep costs down. Also, the board has decided to open the theater to event rentals such as ballet recitals and preschool programs.

"We just barely got caught up, and then this came along," said DHT founder Vanessa Nelson.

Adding salt to the wound is the idea that the vandal may be someone known to the DHT theater family. The vandal was caught in the act by security cameras, even though his face was covered.

"We’re pretty sure we know who it is," Nelson said, though she and Haycock declined to elaborate.

The theater will hold its annual rummage sale on Saturday and Sept. 11. Money raised by the sale is supposed to help pay for next season’s shows, but a significant amount will now have to go to repairs. Items for the sale are still needed and can be dropped by the theater, at 12366 S. 900 East, during business hours. A building repair fund has been established at Zions Bank, and financial contributions are welcome at the theater as well.

Haycock is also seeking volunteers to rip out old carpet and do other manual repairs. For more information, visit www.drapertheatre.org .

kdrake Alt Heads:

Theater seeks help to stay afloat Ways to give

Draper Historic Theatre will hold its annual rummage sale Sept. 4 and 11 at 12366 S. 900 East. The theater is also accepting items for the sale. Other ways to donate include a building repair fund at Zions Bank, in person donations at the theater, or through a PayPal account accessible at www.drapertheatre.org.


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