Sundance: recreation center delay won’t impact screenings |

Sundance: recreation center delay won’t impact screenings

by Jay Hamburger THE PARK RECORD

Sundance Film Festival organizers are confident the construction delays at the Park City Municipal Athletic & Recreation Center will not impact the festival’s schedule at the Park Meadows facility.

Sundance plans to return to the site with one of the festival’s largest screening rooms in 2012. Organizers turn the gymnasium into a theater during the festival. The gymnasium was dropped from the Sundance lineup in 2011 as the work on the Municipal Athletic & Recreation Center continued.

Sarah Pearce, who directs the festival’s operations for Sundance, noted the gymnasium from the largely demolished Racquet Club was left intact as the rest of the facility was torn down.

"We’re going to be fine," Pearce said, adding, "The city has assured us they’ll have it ready for us."

City Hall recently pushed back the opening of the facility from mid-December until early January, with a grand-opening event set for Jan. 12. Sundance opens on Jan. 19, a week after the scheduled debut of the Municipal Athletic & Recreation Center.

Pearce said Sundance’s agreement with City Hall allows festival crews to enter the gymnasium to start work on readying the screening room in the evening on Jan. 12. She said Sundance’s programmers have crafted a screening schedule with movies showing at the site starting on Jan. 20, which is the first full day of screenings.

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She said organizers will reconfigure the gymnasium theater from past years, possibly resulting in fewer seats. She estimated the seating capacity will be approximately 550 seats, down from the 600 or so that were in the theater before.

Pearce said it will be "so great" for Sundance to return to the facility in 2012.

City Hall is in the final weeks of the construction on the $10.5 million Municipal Athletic & Recreation Center, which is being built at the site of the largely demolished Racquet Club. The new facility will feature numerous improvements in workout equipment and fitness rooms as well as a series of environmental upgrades.

Officials have said the delayed opening is a result of bad weather in the spring and issues with subcontractors.