Wilma Theatre (Missoula, Montana)

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Wilma Theatre
Missoula, Montana - Wilma Theater.JPG
Front of the theater
Address 104 S. Higgins Ave.
Missoula, Montana
United States
Capacity 1,067
Current use cinema and events venue
Opened 1921


Wilma Theatre
Wilma Theatre (Missoula, Montana) is located in Montana
Wilma Theatre (Missoula, Montana)
Coordinates: 46°52′8″N 113°59′43″W / 46.86889°N 113.99528°W / 46.86889; -113.99528
Architect H.E. Kirkemo, Ole Bakke
Architectural style Chicago
Governing body private
NRHP Reference # 79001407
Added to NRHP December 31, 1979[1]

"The Wilma" was built in 1921 by William "Billy" Simons and dedicated to his wife, light opera artist Edna Wilma. The Wilma is part of an eight-story complex that was the first steel-framed high-rise building in Missoula, and includes the main 1400-seat hall, a lounge, three banquet rooms, a restaurant, apartments and offices. The theater interior is decorated with Louis XIV Style gilt trim.[2] The International Wildlife Film Festival is held at The Wilma annually.

The Wilma's original theater organ was replaced in the 1950s with a Robert Morton organ from the Orpheum Theater in Spokane, Washington,[3] which had been torn down in 1958.[4]

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.[3]

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 Venue 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.



  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-04-15. 
  2. ^ "Wilma Theatre History". The Wilma Theatre. 2008-10-30. 
  3. ^ a b "Wilma (Missoula) Theatre History". Puget Sound Theater Organ Society. 2008-10-30. 
  4. ^ "Spokane's grand old theaters". Inland Northwest History. The Spokesman-Review. 2008-10-30. 

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