How to Fest...Salt Lake Style

January 13, 2020 Written by

Well, it’s almost here...Robert Redford’s renowned Sundance Film Festival is just around the corner and movie enthusiasts are itching to get their hands on tickets and experience the annual 2-week event, held January 23 - February 2, 2020. While many cinephiles think that Park City is the spot to be for movie showings and celebrity sightings, downtown Salt Lake provides an unprecedented Sundance experience for locals and out-of-towners alike. The following tips are sure to help you make the most of your downtown Sundance experience.

Get Your Ticket

tixCopyright 2015 Sundance Institute | Photo by Leah Peasley. Photo Courtesy of Visit Salt Lake

Being a local has its advantages when it comes to getting a jump start on buying festival tickets. Individual ticket sales begin January 14 (for Sundance Institute Members), January 16 (for locals) and January 21 for the public (anyone who isn’t a local or a Sundance Institute Member). Purchase your tickets here. Individual tickets purchased in advance for all screenings at all venues are $25 and kids screenings are $10. Online ticket orders must be picked up at the main box office at Trolley Square (602 S. 700 East). Electronic ticket receipts will not be honored at the theater. See the full festival program for all of the films showing in Salt Lake during 2020 here

Download the App

rosewagnerCopyright 2015 Sundance Institute | Photo by Leah Peasley. Photo Courtesy of Visit Salt Lake

Did the movie you’ve been anxiously awaiting to see sell out before you could get tickets? No problem. The Sundance Film Festival 2020 app provides access to the online eWaitlist. All you need to do is log into the app two hours before a film will begin to receive an eWaitlist number. Each screening with open seats will sell tickets to the eWaitlist based on availability a half-hour before screening time. If you are lucky enough to snag a last-minute ticket, cash is the only form of payment accepted at the door. The free app also puts the program guide, schedules, maps and other information on your smartphone.

Where to Watch

seatingCopyright 2015 Sundance Institute | Photo by Leah Peasley. Photo Courtesy of Visit Salt Lake

The festival has scheduled 149 screenings at six Salt Lake venues: Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center (138 W. 300 South), Broadway Centre Cinemas 3 & 6 (111 E. Broadway), Salt Lake City Main Library Theatre (210 E. 400 South), Grand Theatre (1575 S. State St) and Tower Theatre (876 E. 900 South). Every movie on the Sundance slate will play in Salt Lake at least once. Filmmakers like the Salt Lake screenings because they provide a test audience that isn’t full of industry types, the way the Park City screenings are. No matter what venue you choose, make sure to get there 30 minutes before showtime.

Enjoy the Lounges


Most of the “hospitality lounges” that pop up during Sundance are invitation-only sites where companies can cater to celebrities. That’s not the case in downtown Salt Lake. Visit Salt Lake is opening three Festival Lounges near the Salt Lake screening venues. This year brings the new Queer Lounge at The Daily (222 S. Main St) to its annual line-up of popular Sundance Film Festival Lounges. Located in the heart of downtown, The Queer Lounge adds new live music choices, drag shows, performance poetry and trivia to the mix and joins the popular Festival Lounges at Copper Common (111 E. Broadway), next door to the Broadway Center Cinemas and East Liberty Tap House (850 E. 900 South), near the Tower Theatre. These Lounges are the perfect places to enjoy live music by local musicians, discuss film, art and theater both pre- and post-screenings, nightly. There are no entrance fees and they are open to the public, but seating is limited. Pop-up events and cabaret variety shows at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center are sure to spice up your festival experience.

From documentaries to drag shows, there’s no better place for the ultimate Sundance experience than downtown Salt Lake!