Opera House Theatre
140 South Sansome St
Established in 1891, the Opera House Theatre is currently the oldest operating theater in the state of Montana. Over the years, the Opera House has changed hands and a variety of businesses have occupied parts of the building, including a soda pop bottling company, The Philipsburg Commercial Club, a bank, and Carmichael's Livery Stable. In the early 1980s, recognized pianist Andrew Crow acquired the property and saved it from demolition, later selling it to Tim Dringle, who along with his wife Claudette continue their plans to restore the theater back to its original splendor.
At the turn of the nineteenth century, painter Edgar S. Paxon created six backdrops and scenery flats for the theater. Born in Buffalo, New York, the friendly and energetic Paxon migrated to Montana in the spring of 1877, working at different times as a cowboy, a shotgun rider, and a military scout. He settled with his wife and son in Deer Lodge and became a professional painter. Throughout the years, the Paxon backdrops and scenery flats were sold numerous times, and in 1998 we honored their return to the Philipsburg Opera House. Of the six original backdrops, five remain today.
Every summer the Opera House Theatre offers live performances from plays to vaudeville acts entertaining residents and visitors alike. The curtain rises and the stage springs to life! Look at our Calendar of Events for this year's schedule of the upcoming season.