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.

Contributed by Tracy J. Blakeslee

Recent comments (view all 17 comments)

davidlane
davidlane on February 6, 2007 at 8:10 pm

I remember it all too, I lived in the basement apt. for about 1.5 years it was #04 and my friend Rat/manager who loved trains lived in the top floor apt….. Erie was the old elevator operater.. I even ran the “knob” myself a few times and would go up into the booth to help run the movies…… I loved that place and its people/history…. Eddie, Sias, Rat, Mother who ran the office, Andy Crow…… plus Bill and a host of others……. Miss the old Oxford and the poker table too, lol ….. David Lane

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.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on July 8, 2012 at 6:54 am

Modernization described in this 1951 trade article: boxoffice

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on July 8, 2012 at 7:58 am

Also featured in this 1951 trade ad: boxoffice

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