It is nearly showtime for Sundance at the Santy Auditorium | ParkRecord.com

It is nearly showtime for Sundance at the Santy Auditorium

It will be showtime at the Santy Auditorium next week.

Park City officials say the auditorium, located inside the Park City Library and Education Center, is expected to be ready to serve as a screening room during the Sundance Film Festival. The festival opens on Thursday. The first screening in the Santy Auditorium — 99 Homes — is scheduled at 8:30 a.m. on Friday. There are six screenings scheduled in the auditorium on Friday, the first full day of the festival.

Festival organizers refer to the Santy Auditorium as the Library Center Theatre. It has 486 seats, according to Sundance. The Santy Auditorium ranks No. 3 in seating capacity among the Park City-area screening rooms, trailing only the Eccles Center and the MARC Theatre at the Park City Municipal & Athletic Center.

The Park City Library and Education Center is in the middle of a major renovation that has forced the facility to temporarily close. The Santy Auditorium has been closed with the rest of the building since last spring.

City Hall officials prior to the work starting crafted a construction schedule meant to ensure the Santy Auditorium would be ready for Sundance and the festival organizers could safely operate a screening room in the building.

"It’s pretty much ready for Sundance to take over," Matt Twombly, the City Hall project manager overseeing the work, said.

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Inside the Santy Auditorium, the crews repainted the room and installed audio and visual upgrades, including a new speaker system and new projection equipment, that will be used during Sundance. The crews built scaffolding inside the Santy Auditorium while the work was underway. The seats inside the auditorium were protected with a covering and remain in good shape, Twombly said.

"It will look different because it’s been painted and new carpeting installed," he said.

Outside the third-floor Santy Auditorium, the work on the floors, the ceilings and the walls are completed. The restrooms on each floor are completed as well. A new elevator will be operational. The main stairway is complete and will be open during Sundance. It is a new stairway in the same location as one that was there before the work started.

Twombly said a temporary plywood wall will be constructed outside the Santy Auditorium to separate the concessions and auditorium queue area from the screening room itself. That will reduce outside noise in the auditorium.

Twombly praised the efforts of the general contractor on the project, Okland Construction. He said the firm performed well and ensured subcontractors also kept up.

"They made it happen . . . getting everything up and running. It was challenging," Twombly said.

The work will be halted during the festival.

The ticket-holder tent will be erected at the north side of the building, the same location as during past film festivals.

The renovation of the Library and Education Center is expected to cost a little more than $9.3 million. The project remains on budget. The overall price tag includes the construction, architectural fees, furnishings and the costs associated with temporarily relocating some of the library functions and them moving them back afterward.

Park City sees the renovation as important in creating a 21st century library. There will be numerous technological upgrades, more space for the collection and expanded community space. A small expansion will be built around the northwest corner of the building. City Hall anticipates the library will reopen in early June.

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