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Washoe Theater, Anaconda

4.9
#3 of 7 in Things to do in Anaconda
The Washoe Theater in Anaconda, Montana was the last theater constructed in the United States in the Nuevo Deco (a form of Art Deco) style. The theater was designed in 1930 by Seattle architect B. Marcus Priteca. It was almost entirely finished by 1931, but its opening was delayed until Thursday, September 24, 1936 because of the Great Depression. In 1936 dollars, its construction cost was a grand $200,000. The Smithsonian rates the Washoe as a national treasure due to the lavish interior. In 1982, the Washoe was listed on the United States National Register of Historic Places for architectural significance.
The interior design and furnishings were done by Hollywood theater designer Nat Smythe. The exterior doors are etched glass. Each joint and trim work is carved in complicated relief patterns with much use of ornamental ironwork. Use of copper is especially prevalent, as Anaconda was a company town for the Anaconda Copper Mining Company. Silver and gold leaf supplement the accent work. Carved rams heads line the walls. Every flat surface, including the domed ceiling, is a painted mural done by Colville Smythe.
The silk curtain is a piece of art in itself, though seldom seen. Its age presents a problem for curators who are afraid that taking it down, even to try and restore it, would cause it to fall apart. It has a painting of deer stags.
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Washoe Theater Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5.0
45 reviews
Google
4.9
TripAdvisor
  • During our summer road trip my wife and I made a special side trip to Anaconda just to experience this theatre. For me, it was an opportunity to step back in time to the movie theatres of my youth. It...  more »
  • This is an older renovated theater that is simply beautiful. A true theater with stage, curtains, large with comfortable seating downstairs or balcony. Tickets are very reasonable with specials during...  more »
Google
  • Old theatre with a nostalgic feel. The sound is not the greatest, and there is an intermission half way through the film, but they have a balcony (which is 50 cents extra per person), and serve fresh popcorn, soda, and candy. We love the olden feeling of the theater. Especially given 5 stars for the experience! Inexpensive compared to big city theaters. This is a CASH ONLY establishment, which is well worth it!
  • Awesome friendly staff. Beautiful building. The only movie theater we go too. Cannot say enough about the staff and building!!

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