Wilma Theatre (Missoula, Montana)
Front of the theater
|Address||104 S. Higgins Ave.|
|Current use||cinema and events venue|
|Architect||H.E. Kirkemo, Ole Bakke|
|NRHP Reference #||79001407|
|Added to NRHP||December 31, 1979|
The Wilma Theatre was built in 1921 in Missoula, Montana. The theater is managed by Missoula based Simba Entertainment. The Wilma was built by William "Billy" Simons and dedicated to his wife, light opera artist Edna Wilma. The theater is part of an eight-story complex that was the first steel-framed high-rise building in Missoula, and includes the main 1066-seat hall, two 125-seat cinemas, three banquet rooms, a restaurant, apartments and offices. The theater now seats less patrons as four rows of seats were removed from the floor level in 2010. The theater interior is decorated with Louis XIV Style gilt trim. The International Wildlife Film Festival is held at the Wilma annually.
As originally built, the basement housed a swimming pool, the "Crystal Plunge". Condensation proved incompatible with the structure, and the pool closed within ten years. It now serves as additional storage space.
The Wilma now shows a diverse range of entertainment, including independent movies, spoken word events, live and local music, plays, and other events. Many major acts routinely visit The Wilma yearly.
The theater is equipped with a full PA system and stage monitors with Yamaha M7 consoles at the core, as well as a secondary PA for use with the main movie screen. The Wilma also employs a full theater lighting system with PAR and Leko fixtures, and six Martin Mac 500 automated moving head fixtures. The lighting is controlled by a Pearl 2000 console.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-04-15.
- "Wilma Theatre History". The Wilma Theatre. 2008-10-30.
- "Wilma (Missoula) Theatre History". Puget Sound Theater Organ Society. 2008-10-30.
- "Spokane's grand old theaters". Inland Northwest History. The Spokesman-Review. 2008-10-30.
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