Washoe Theater

305 Main Street,
Anaconda, MT 59711

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Washoe Theater

Viewing: Photo | Street View

This extravagant movie palace was built in 1931 with Art Deco style furnishings, murals and ornamentation in silver, copper, and gold leaf. Its architect was B. Marcus Priteca. Due to the Depression, it didn’t open until 1936.

The Smithsonian has ranked it fifth in the nation for its architectural value. The Washoe Theater was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

Contributed by Mary Sue Daniels

Recent comments (view all 19 comments)

kencmcintyre on August 8, 2007 at 7:57 pm

It looks like the theater in the photo starts with an I. Then again, it could be an old ad for a theater in a different location.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on August 9, 2007 at 12:05 pm

This link has some history of the Washoe Theater. Opening date given for the Washoe Theater is September 24, 1936.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on August 9, 2007 at 12:28 pm

I just noticed that in the description above, the build date is given as 1936. The link that I posted in the comment above this one claims that the Washoe Theater was actually built in 1931. “The depression postponed the opening of the new theater until this fall” (1936).

johnnyairplane on September 10, 2007 at 10:56 pm

The Washoe was built in the Nouveau/Deco style, part Art Nouveau, part Art Deco influence, The Center theatre was where the credit union now stands on park and the Bluebird was down a block on part past St. Paul’s church! – the Washoe was the 3rd theatre on the location where it is at, before that was the Sundial and before that was the Margaret Theatre. The highland theatre I believe is across from 4 star video, it is now a senior citizens center, still has the original seats (built on a slope!)….
The Washoe has the curtains from the Bluebird stored upstairs, if it isn’t the exact original in the theatre, it’s simply been repaired!

Marktech on October 14, 2007 at 2:36 pm

The projection booth of the Washoe is equipped with it’s original three Super Simplex projectors. One of them is still sporting a carbon arc lamphouse and this machine is regularly used to run the previews on. The other machines share duty from the platter system. An Ultra Stereo processor and QSC power amps drive the vintage Altec speakers behind the screen.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on January 1, 2009 at 12:25 pm

Here is the Washoe Theater at night.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on April 20, 2009 at 12:48 pm

Here is a photo from 1986.

skyvue on June 17, 2011 at 5:12 pm

From some years ago, a short magazine story, with pictures, on the Washoe.

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