Wilma Theater

131 S. Higgins Avenue,
Missoula, MT 59802

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Wilma Theatre exterior

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Wilma Theater opened in 1921. It was remodeled in a French Renaissance style to the plans of architect Bjarne H. Moe and reopened September 29, 1933 with May Robson in “Lady for a Day”.

Contributed by Tracy J. Blakeslee

Recent comments (view all 20 comments)

ProntoATL
ProntoATL on March 12, 2007 at 5:56 am

This is David Keith. I was in the Wilma scene for many years. I know many of her secrets. Ed Sharp was my mentor and friend. He left me most of his estate (not as much as you think). There are tons of stories. Most of the ones that relate to Ed, Edna, Billy Simmons, Bob Sias, Rat, and many others are pretty correct, some details are out of wack, but the gist is right in most. It was the best and craziest time of my life. Suicides, knifings, shootings, Carol Oconner, Many names big and small. The Wilma and crew saw it all. I saw much, and heard many stories straight (so to speak) from the horses mouths. They were an interesting group and I am a better man for knowing all of them. The Grand Wilma is truly the Showplace and Storyplace of Missoula, and lots of Montana as well.

kks
kks on September 18, 2007 at 9:33 am

while attending u of m i lived on 3rd floor beg summer 1996 (at the marquee) and then on the 7th floor for a little over a year and don’t know renato…however… i treasure the time i spent there and think about bev, rat and the rest a ton…

tomdelay
tomdelay on October 15, 2007 at 10:36 pm

A 1925-ish 3/10 Robert Morton was moved from a theatre (Pantages?) in Spokane and installed in the Wilma well over 30 years ago. It is still in the Wilma.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on February 21, 2009 at 8:28 am

Wow, what a unique structure and history. Similar to the Genesee Theatre in Waukegan Illinois.
Surely the 4.2 mil asking price was for the entire Wilma building.
Good to see it’s still operating.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on July 14, 2010 at 6:46 pm

Good pictures,Thanks,Stories too.

KenLayton
KenLayton on February 7, 2017 at 12:24 pm

Wasn’t this the theater that Andy Crow would run 16mm silents on an old Bell & Howell 140 carbon arc projector?

Was Marshall Woodbridge involved with this theater?

rivest266
rivest266 on December 3, 2017 at 9:56 am

Major reopening newspaper section from September 29th, 1933

Found on Newspapers.com

rivest266
rivest266 on December 3, 2017 at 2:01 pm

2nd screen called Wilma II – The Jewel Box opened on March 28th, 1980. Ad in the photo section.

rivest266
rivest266 on December 3, 2017 at 2:12 pm

3rd screen called Wilma III: Cinema of the Dove opened on January 1st, 1982. Another ad in the photo section.

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