One of downtown Bozeman's most iconic and recognizable buildings is the Ellen Theatre. The building is one of many in the Bozeman area that was designed by architect Fred Willson. Willson also designed the Armory building in downtown Bozeman, as well as the Baxter Hotel.

The Ellen Theatre first opened in 1919. According to the Ellen Theatre website, the Ellen hosted variety shows, silent movies, school plays, town band performances, and even an opera featuring a live elephant.

In March 2020, the Ellen Theatre closed down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the past year and a half, a lot of renovation work has been done at the Ellen including refurbishing the facade with vintage wooden doors and restoration of a canopy of ironwork and stained glass. The high ceiling, sidewalls, and proscenium were also painted to highlight the Ellen's original elegant colors.

Now, the Ellen Theatre is ready to reopen to the public. A re-grand opening celebration is scheduled for Wednesday, September 29. The Ellen Theatre sent the following message to patrons and the Bozeman community.

Thank you for the continued support
which has allowed The Ellen to weather this
most unusual storm. As the saying goes,
“The Show Must Go On,” and we’re excited
to do once again what we do best, present
first-class entertainment for the Gallatin Valley.

Please note, for the well-being of our patrons, performing artists, staff and volunteers,
safety protocols are in place, including encouraging vaccinations and masks
for those who wish to wear them.


It is with great pleasure that we reopen the doors of this grand showplace, welcoming you back to the shining crown jewel of downtown Bozeman. As always, stay safe, and we look forward to seeing you soon.

For the Re-Grand Opening celebration, there will be a screening of In The Heights presented by the Bozeman Film Society.

Watch the trailer for In The Heights below.

The Ellen Theatre released a full schedule of upcoming events that includes Paula Poundstone, The Rastrelli Cello Quartet, Intermountain Opera Bozeman, and more. For a full list of upcoming events, click here.

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