Just a seven-minute walk from the Best Western Clock Tower Inn is the Alberta Bair Theater. This charming venue, elegantly decorated with brilliant chandeliers and art deco design, has served as a cornerstone to the Billings cultural scene for over 80 years.
Here you can find a range of entertainment and performances - from chamber music to comedy performances, the Alberta Bair Theater has something to offer everyone. They even have a variety of educational performances, some of which connect directly with the curriculum.
Originally named “The Fox Theater”, ABT was established in 1931. Located at present-day Broadway and Third Avenue North, the plot of land had previously housed the Charles M. Bair family homestead. Charles’ own daughter, Alberta M. Bair, was born in that very house, prior to the construction of the new entertainment facility.
At that time, the theater was partially financed by the 20th Century Fox Corporation, who had purchased the land from Charles M. Bair. The Fox Theater had the distinction of being the last Art Deco style theater in the United States and was built by the 20th Century Fox Corporation and designed by Robert C. Reamer.
For over 50 years, the establishment was able to provide a haven for culture buffs in Billings. In 1987, the Fox Theater was due for a makeover and was fully renovated, with Charles Bair’s daughter, Alberta Bair, providing substantial funding. Upon completion of the project, the theater was renamed in her honor.
Alberta Bair Theater has become the largest fully-equipped performing arts center in the region. The venue showcases professional touring companies with some of the best musicians, dancers, and theater performances, as well as local performing groups. With a 1,400-seat capacity, the Alberta Bair Theater is able to provide outstanding educational programming for 22,000 school children annually and serves a population of 400,000 in all.
For a complete night out, stop by any number of delectable eateries in the area for dinner and drinks. Within walking distance of the theater is BIN 119 Wine Bar and Restaurant. They are known for both their sophisticated seasonal American cuisine and first-class wine selection. Also nearby is Jake’s – a classy steakhouse with flavors from both land and sea.
Whether you are a Billings resident or just passing through, the Alberta Bair Theater is a must-stop entertainment venue that perfectly captures the local cultural vibe.