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Currently, there are five theatres in three states all owned and operated separately by family members. The Hale Centre Theatre has a legendary heritage as the longest continuously running, privately owned and operated theatre company in America.


1947 Hale Centre Theatre was born!

When Ruth and Nathan Hale moved to Glendale, California from Salt Lake City in 1943 with aspirations of beginning their careers as actors, they quickly realized that the only way to pursue their dream was to open their own theatre. In 1947 they rented a small building in Glendale, and the Hale Centre Theatre was born!

Although their opening night had an audience of just six, their little theatre began to grow in popularity. The theatre has operated every year since, passing down from generation to generation until today.

Hale Theatre Arizona (Est. 2003)

At the tender age of two, David Hale Dietlein wanted to be on stage - and he would have made it too, if an actor hadnʼt scooped him up just as he was going through the curtain. Dave escaped from his crib, and his babysitter, to try to make that entrance. Daveʼs family, who owned the theater, also lived behind it, making it a short trip from crib to center stage.

As young Dave grew he became quite an entrepreneur, starting off by selling radishes, which he said were candy, to neighborhood kids when he was four. Later he took to taking pop bottles from the back of a small grocery store into the front of the store to get a refund (the grocer soon put a stop to that.) When he was in high school he became a DJ, calling himself “The Disco King” which was a much more productive endeavor. He made enough money to not only buy a car, but also pay for college.

After college Dave went back to the stage, and theatre life, this time working for his Dad with the hopes of one day owning his own theatre. His Dad, Allan Dietlein, was a strict taskmaster and wanted Dave to know that although theatre is rewarding, it is hard work! Dave took to that work like a duck to water and when his folks retired he and his brother bought the business. But, after seven years Dave still dreamed of owning his very own theatre. So he sold his interest in the Glendale Center Theater in California and scouted around for a new location. Being a California boy, Arizona was not really on Dave’s list. However, after receiving encouragement from the Gilbert city fathers, particularly Greg Tilque, and finding Gilbert to be a family oriented town that, he felt, would support a family oriented theatre Dave came kicking and screaming into the heat of the Valley of the Sun.

He secured a loan from a friendly bank in town, and along with some money he’d saved over the years (you can do that when youʼre not married), began construction on what is now Hale Centre Theatre - Arizona.

The rest is history, as they say. Patrons of Arizona have discovered the high quality of work at Hale Theatre. Incredibly talented actors bring the plays and musicals to life and the entire staff and crew make every production a memorable experience.

Dave and his lovely wife Corrin, (yes he did eventually get married) echo his Grandmother who along with her husband started the Glendale Centre Theatre when she says: “Theater is an exciting life, full of stress and strain, yet thereʼs a joy to it, and never a dull moment!”

Now, several years since his first attempt to run through the curtain, Dave goes through his own curtain whenever he likes and he welcomes audiences to, yes, his very own theatre.

The Hale Centre Theatre has been dedicated to providing our patrons with the finest theatrical experience possible in an atmosphere as intimate and friendly as their own homes. In doing so, we have always selected shows which reflect our promise to provide fun and affordable entertainment.