Filed Under Philipsburg

McDonald Opera House

Philipsburg Historic Disctrict

Prominent businessman Angus A. McDonald constructed this two-story masonry theater in 1891. A metal-covered stage loft rises above the roof as evidence of the structure’s historic function. Beneath the south end were dressing rooms for the traveling entertainers that played the generous stage. Elaborate backdrops were painted by Montana artist Edgar S. Paxson. The advent of moving pictures with sound brought some interior changes in the 1930s, but a magician’s trap door at center stage is still in place. Renamed the Granada Theatre in 1919, it is Montana’s oldest operating theater.

Images

McDonald Opera House McDonald Opera House, facing southeast on South Sansome Street, front view of the façade, digital photograph. Source: Montana Historical Society Creator: Michael Connolly Date: June 2019
McDonald Opera House McDonald Opera House, facing northeast on South Sansome Street, front/side view of the building, digital photograph. Source: Montana Historical Society Creator: Michael Connolly Date: June 2019
McDonald Opera House McDonald Opera House. Facing northeast on South Sansome Street, front/side view of the building. B&W. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office from the Photograph Archives at the Montana Historical Society Creator: Photographer unidentified Date: 1980-1984

Location

140 South Sansome Street, Philipsburg, Montana | Private

Metadata

The Montana National Register Sign Program, “McDonald Opera House,” Historic Montana, accessed December 3, 2022, https://historicmt.org/items/show/630.