Margaret Theater

305 Main Street,
Anaconda, MT 59711

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 23, 2012 at 1:07 pm

The term “Nuevo Deco” used to describe the Washoe Theatre in the introduction to this page is a Spanish phrase apparently describing a neo-vintage style that has recently gained popularity in Latin America. The Washoe is simply Art Deco, though at the time it was built it would probably have been described as Art Moderne or Zig-Zag Modern (the term Art Deco was coined by English critic Bevis Hillier in the 1960s.)

The majority of web sites using the term Nuevo Deco are, not surprisingly, in Spanish, although the term has made its way into that demotic fount of misinformation, Wikipedia, so I suppose we can expect it to soon metastasize across the Internet.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 23, 2012 at 12:22 pm

Anaconda, Montana: Copper Smelting Boom Town on the Western Frontier, by Patrick F. Morris, says that the Margaret Theatre was inaugurated on September 28, 1897. The Margaret Theatre is listed in the 1910-1911 Cahn guide as a ground-floor house with 1,246 seats. Frank Cullen’s Vaudeville, Old and New lists the Margaret as having been on the Ackerman & Harris vaudeville circuit, but there are numerous period references to the house presenting everything from road shows to prize fights.

There is one reference to an exhibition of movies at the Margaret as early 1905, but I haven’t found the house mentioned in the movie industry trade journals of the period. However, the January 10, 1930, issue of The Film Daily did have a brief item saying that the recently-burned Sundial Theatre would be replaced by a new house, so the Sundial must have operated as a movie theater during its brief life.