Vigilante Theater

335 N. Last Chance Gulch Street,
Helena, MT 59601

Unfavorite No one has favorited this theater yet

Help us make this street view more accurate

Please adjust the view until the theater is clearly visible. more info

With marquee as the Rio Theatre (1936)

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened in 1934 as the Rio Theater, this Art Deco style theater was later renamed the Vigilante, and operated into the 50s. The building is today home to a fitness center.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on April 13, 2007 at 4:13 pm

The Rio survived a violent earthquake in 1935, according to the Helena Independent:

REPORTS THAT RIO TO OPEN NOT TRUE; STATEMENT ISSUED

Reports about the Rio theater opening in a few days are entirely erroneous, according to Paul McAdam, manager. In a statement yesterday, Mr. McAdam said: “The show will not open until everything has quieted down, the tremor ceased, and the building carefully inspected by the authorities. An examination of the building indicates there is no apparent damage done.

“The quake did not seem to strike as hard on the downtown section of town as in the residence district, and we even continued the show for a few minutes when the power was on. Not realizing the extensive damage done, we made an addition to an ad prepared for the morning paper. However, upon reaching home, the real force of the earthquake was apparent; our brick dwelling was in shambles, and our folks nearly hysterical. In forgetting about the ad, we no doubt caused considerable confusion, which anyone experiencing the quake can easily understand.
[Helena Independent; October 23, 1935]

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 30, 2009 at 5:14 am

The Rio became the Vigilante in 1947. A small photo showing the new name on the marquee appeared in the June 14 issue of Boxoffice Magazine that year. The caption said: “SIX GUN ATMOSPHERE— Having donned a strictly western dress, Helena’s Rio Theatre has changed its name to the Vigilante and now caters to those who like their westerns rough and ready, all at reduced prices.”

rivest266
rivest266 on August 9, 2013 at 9:50 pm

Rio grand opening ad uploaded in the photo section for this cinema.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater