Opera House Theatre Company - Philipsburg, MT
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member BK-Hunters
N 46° 19.894 W 113° 17.676
12T E 323390 N 5133446
Quick Description: This is a vintage theatre that has hosted both live stage performances and movies. Opened in 1891, it is today the oldest operating theatre in the state of Montana.
Location: Montana, United States
Date Posted: 5/6/2014 6:31:23 PM
Waymark Code: WMKNHT
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 0

Long Description:
Built as a live performance theatre, the opera house changed hands in 1919 at which time projection and sound equipment were installed in order to screen movies. Still later other businesses occupied parts of the building alongside the opera house. Today it is solely a live performance theatre, offering live performances throughout the summer. It is acknowledged as being the oldest continually operating theatre in Montana.
Prominent businessman Angus A. McDonald constructed this two-story masonry theater in 1891. A metal-covered stage loft rises above the roof as evidence of the structure’s historic function. Beneath the south end were dressing rooms for the traveling entertainers that played the generous stage. Elaborate backdrops were painted by Montana artist Edgar S. Paxson. The advent of moving pictures with sound brought some interior changes in the 1930s, but a magician’s trap door at center stage is still in place. Renamed the Granada Theatre in 1919, it is Montana’s oldest operating theater.
From the NRHP Plaque
The property where the theatre stands was first deeded to the Northern Pacific Railroad in 1876. In July of l896, Angus A. McDonald (Red Mac) and his wife, JoAnna, acquired the land and built the two story McDonald Opera House. It was equipped with a granite foundation, full sod basement, dressing rooms beneath the south end and plumbing! The high loft above the east end was for scenery backdrops. A large auditorium with balcony, side boxes faced with wrought iron, and a spacious stage attracted large audiences. Many famous troupes performed on the stage as well as many not-so-famous, including minstrel shows, dog and pony acts, traveling players, magicians,(the center stage trap door still remains) contortionists, vaudeville acts, local talent, dance revues, class plays and graduations. Frank Horrigan bought the theatre in l9l9 and renamed it the Granada. The ornate boxes were taken out, in the name of acoustics, when new sound and projections machines were installed.

A variety of businesses have occupied parts of the building through the years; a soda pop bottling firm, The Philipsburg Commercial Club, a bank, Carmichael’s Livery Stable, and others.

The current owner, Tim and Claudette Dringle, while painstakingly restoring and renovating the entire building, produce live professional theatre throughout the summer.
From the Opera House Theatre Company

Photo courtesy of Opera House Theatre Company

Theater Name: Opera House Theatre Company

Country: USA

140 South Sansome Street
Philipsburg, MT USA

Web Site: [Web Link]

Venue: Private Theater

Type of Productions:
Summer, Vaudeville, benefits, concerts

Restored Building: yes

Date of Construction: 1891

Stage Type: Proscenium

Architect/Designer: Not listed

Seating Capacity: Not Listed

Special Productions/Events/Festivals: Not listed

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