Bluebird Theatre

415 E. Park Avenue,
Anaconda, MT 59711

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Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 13 comments)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on August 9, 2007 at 4:52 pm

In 1914 the Anaconda Standard was advertising shows at the Alcazar and the Grand. Jumping ahead to 1958, the Montana Standard advertised several theaters in the Anaconda area. They were the Washoe, the Center, the West Valley Drive-In, the Rustic Drive-In and the In and Out Drive-In. The West Valley was showing “Far Horizons” with Fred MacMurray and “Charles” Heston.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on August 9, 2007 at 5:46 pm

I have no information for the Alcazar or the Grand. Since the Center Theater isn’t listed in the 1951 FDYbook, it was probably built after that date which means the Center Theater isn’t the theater being built in 1939. Right now, my prime candidate for the 1939 theater being built is the Highland Theater. If the Highland was built in 1939, it must have had a relatively short life. And if it was a second run theater as mentioned in the article, that could explain its short existence. Or maybe it just burned down.

Believe it or not, there were even more theaters in Anaconda. Not sure if they were movie theaters or not. I found the following on a history page for the Washoe Theater; Pre-dating the Washoe on this site was the Margaret Theater, named for Mrs. Marcus Daly in 1897. The Margaret was sold in 1926 and reopened in 1927 as the Sundial Theater. The Sundial was destroyed by fire in 1929. Not soon after the ‘Washoe Amusement Company’ formed to lobby local citizens for the reconstruction of the theater on the site, and the Washoe soon came into being. It cost $200,000 to build.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on August 9, 2007 at 6:22 pm

The local paper was advertising plays at the Margaret in 1912. They probably used it for movies later on, before it burned down.

KenRoe
KenRoe on August 9, 2007 at 6:22 pm

The 1941 & 1943 editions of Film Daily Yearbook list:
Bluebird Theatre 750 seats
Highland Theatre 346 seats
Washoe Theatre 1,000 seats

The 1950 edition of Film Daily Yearbook lists':
Bluebird Theatre, Park Avenue 668 seats
Washoe Theatre, Main Street 988 seats

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on August 9, 2007 at 6:31 pm

I Have to get a couple of those FDYs eventually. I only see one listed in the LA Library catalog, from 1932.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on August 9, 2007 at 6:33 pm

A photo of the Margaret Theater can be seen here. I can’t tell from the photo if it was a movie theater.

There is a good chance that the Highland Theater was the theater being built in 1939. We need another source to confirm it. If it was a small second run theater, it might not be easy to find information for it.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on August 9, 2007 at 8:03 pm

Ken MC….You could post the article from the Montana Standard on the Highland Theater page if you want to.

DavidDynamic
DavidDynamic on October 27, 2011 at 3:51 am

Well guys, I don’t have a single shred of evidence—just my opinion. The small pink building (Fuller Drug Co.)just two away from the Pizza Hut has Art Deco simple neighborhood theater stamped on it. The unusual structure in the center of the archway looks as if it were the boxoffice or the lighting above the counter high center window with the doors on either side of the boxoffice. just a hunch since I have never been to Anaconda.

DavidDynamic
DavidDynamic on October 27, 2011 at 4:25 am

Judging the size of the building and the number of seats listed by KenRoe this could quite well be the Highland. The name may have been chiseled away if it was in relief since the name of the drug company appears to be painted. A marquee could have been attached where the horizontal scar line appears. Whatever, it appears to now be Anaconda Realty or for sale by them.

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