Town Theatre

W. Main Street,
East Helena, MT 59636

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Orpheum Theatre, Hartwig Theatre, New Don Theatre

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The Orpheum Theatre was opened by October 1914. In the 1930’s it was for a while renamed Hartwig Theatre. On May 6, 1946 it was renamed New Don Theatre. On April 1, 1947 it was renamed Town Theatre. The theatre seated 285 and closed in 1956.

Contributed by Chris1982

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 27, 2014 at 1:20 pm

The Orpheum Theater in East Helena was mentioned in the November 7, 1938, issue of the Helena Independent. It was also mentioned in the May 22, 1932, issue, and quite a few times in the 1920s.

I’ve found the Town Theatre mentioned in the Independent-Record as early as July 13, 1947, and as late as December 28, 1958.

rivest266 on March 27, 2018 at 1:31 pm

The New Don theatre opened on May 6th, 1946 and became the town theatre on April 1st, 1947. Closed in 1958. Two grand opening ads in the photo section.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 27, 2018 at 4:28 pm

The opening ad says that the New Don Theatre had been “…entirely rebuilt and redecorated….” The possibility remains that the Don was in the old Orpheum building. The Orpheum might also have been called the Hartwig Theatre, which was listed in many editions of the FDY in the late 1920s and 1930s, though never with its seating capacity given.

Emil DonTigny (or Don Tigny or Dontigny- the latter is the standard spelling of the name but Emil seems to have often capitalized the “T” for some reason) arrived in East Helena in 1946, after having worked as a projectionist in Havre. He soon returned to Havre where, according to the “1949 Drive-In Theatre Survey” published in the January 21, 1950, issue of Boxoffice he opened a 400-car drive-in in partnership with Clarence Golder.

Ossraa on March 17, 2023 at 2:40 pm

An ad for it appeared in the Helena Independent on Oct. 23, 1914.

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