The Wilma Theatre

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131 South Higgins Avenue
Missoula, MT 59802

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Built in 1921 along the bank of the Clark Fork River in downtown Missoula, Montana, the Wilma building has a long and colorful history. Commonly called the "Showplace of Montana," the eight-story building was constructed by William "Billy" Simons, an early western entrepreneur who produced Wild West shows and built theatres in Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska during the Gold Rush. At the grand opening, the main floor theatre was dedicated to his wife, Edna Wilma, a famous light opera star who performed on the Pantages vaudeville circuit. Eighty-five years later the Wilma building, with its 1,066 seat Louis XIV-style theatre, remains a Missoula icon. It was the first modern steel-framed skyscraper built in Missoula. It houses three theatres (two small cinemas, 125 seats each, and one large 1,067 seat theatre), three private banquet rooms, offices, and residential space.