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The community is still fighting to keep the theater in West Valley City working



West Walley City, Utah — The arts community is still fighting to save the local theater from closing, one week after West Valley City declared its intention to do so.

“To have them just decide one day, ‘Eh’ without evening talking to the community, me as a resident, that’s the thing that’s the most upsetting,” said Morgan Fenner.

In an attempt to influence the city, a group staged a protest on Tuesday outside the West Valley Performing Arts Center.

“It is intimate. We have this intimacy and this ability to storytell here that we don’t get at other theaters,” she said.

The city said that “structural damage” costing millions of dollars was one of the reasons the facility had to close.

According to Katie Drake, not all of the repairs on the list need to be done right away.

“We can put on shows just fine without those things. It’s not a safety issue or anything, those are repairs that don’t need to be made anytime soon and they’re very expensive,” said Drake.

In order to look into additional solutions, the city and supporters of the theater have gathered.

“We are listening to some of these solutions at this point,” said city manager Ifo Pili. “We really don’t have anything to bring forward right now but appreciate those of you that have come.”

“Do you want to see a 17% property tax increase to fix this?” questioned councilmember Tom Huynh.

At the council meeting on Tuesday, speakers begged for the building’s continuation.

“Will restaurants be able to operate as they do now without the draw of the center or another magnet venue like it?” asked one man. “How will this closure affect them?”

“We need that theater. We need it so badly,” said a woman.

As of right now, the West Valley Performing Arts Center remains open. The presentation on Tuesday was the fifth engagement of Fedyshyn’s tour of the United States. Her group is headed for Chicago later this week.

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