Fox Theatre

411 W. Front Street,
Missoula, MT 59802

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Fox Theatre exterior

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The Fox Theatre opened on December 8th, 1949 with the movie “Everybody Does It”. The architect of the Fox Theatre was Charles D. Strong. The theatre was situated just outside Missoula’s main business section. It was a deluxe first run house with many special features.

The stone brick and stainless steel facade was topped by a neon-lit tower with the name “Fox” in giant neon letters. Glass doors led into a lobby carpeted in green and red with indirect lighting.

Before reaching the foyer, patrons passed through a large outer lounge where a striking metal refreshment stands were located. Illuminated animal murals were on the back walls. Decoration in the 1,050 seat auditorium had Native American theme.

Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 13 comments)

killerbob on April 16, 2004 at 12:36 am

The theatre you were at in Missoula in 1989 was the Wilma. It os still going. The Fox was showing previous run movies for a dollar and would also show a not so best selling movie like Star Trek 3: In Search Of Spock (which was the last film to show there before closing in June of 1984). The building sat around falling apart with no plans before demolition in July 1990. The land is vacant right now with the city trying to find a use for it. The landmark sign is laying on the ground in two pieces in a field on North Reserve St. I will try to get some pictures when I can.

Liz on January 15, 2005 at 10:09 pm

Hi Killerbob. Like the name. I wonder if your the same one I knew?


Liz on January 15, 2005 at 10:19 pm

killerbob on February 9, 2005 at 10:28 am

UPDATE: The sign has been moved and is laying along the side of the road along US Highway 93 two miles north of I-90 and looks weatherbeaten. I will try to take a picture if I can but I have to dodge traffic plus it may be two to five years before I can get a picture submitted to this site. I’m trying to get a picture of the theatre taken in 1959 showing the world premire of The Hanging Tree submitted but can’t.

killerbob on May 26, 2007 at 7:58 pm

Here is an updated photo of the sign. This is a picture that was in the 5/24/2007 issue of the Missoula Independant

kencmcintyre on February 14, 2008 at 10:43 pm

Here is a 1959 photo from the University of Montana archives:

killerbob on February 18, 2008 at 10:31 am

If I can find it, the 1950 University of Montana yearbook has an ad for the Fox with a picture of the first day of business in 1949. I will submit it as soon as I find it

killerbob on April 26, 2009 at 8:13 am

the 1984 photo was taken a few months after the theatre was closed

Trolleyguy on August 6, 2013 at 11:07 am

The “American Pickers” TV show on the History Channel featured some lobby poster boxes from this theater. They were salvaged by a couple from Pennsylvania who were visiting Missoula at the time of the theater’s demolition.

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