An optimistic, cheerful nature and keen sense of humor helped make legislator, contractor, and engineer David Manning instrumental in getting Montana “out of the mud.” A champion of Montana’s rural communities, Manning initiated significant improvements across Montana’s sparsely populated areas: electricity, paved roads, dams, and irrigation systems. Nicknamed “The Fox” for his clever solutions to difficult problems, Manning was a fair and patient leader of true vision, who could often cross political party lines when others could not. He served in the Montana House and Senate from 1932 to 1985, longer than any other legislator in the nation at the time of his retirement. Just before embarking upon his long political tenure, Manning and his brother, Jim, designed and built this Hysham landmark. The popularity of talking pictures had reached a peak, and the grandiose Mission style movie theater well represents the flamboyance typical of the 1930s theater design. Its construction in 1931 raised community morale and made the statement that Hysham would survive the Great Depression. In 1936, the stage behind the movie screen was eliminated and living accommodations added and later expanded, which served as the family home during Manning’s long political service. In 1992, the Manning heirs donated both theater and residence to the Treasure ‘89ers. Now a museum, they commemorate the town’s early development and the productive career of a widely acclaimed Montanan.