Philipsburg is easily one of our favorite towns in Montana, and it’s not just the people that make it such a wonderful destination, as much as the myriad attractions available in town. One such example is the Opera House Theatre Company, home to the Philipsburg Players.The building itself is 119 years old, and it has been lovingly restored at least a few times over the years. It’s a building so grand and amazing you almost wonder what motivated the original owners to build it in the first place.
Well as it happens, Philipsburg was a silver town at a time when it was big, big business. The nearby ghost towns of Granite and Kirkville tell the story better than I ever could, but when the United States based its monetary system on reserves of silver, there was huge motivation to mine more and more of it, as it was the easiest way to increase the nation’s total wealth.
No need to raise taxes, just dig up more silver, trade it out with paper money, throw it in the reserve and there you go. Cities like Philipsburg, rich in silver deposits, literally had a license to print money, and by the shovels and buckets, they did just that.
This was not a sustainable monetary policy, however, and when the economic policy shifted, the tap shut off and the town died down quite literally overnight. To learn more about the history of Philipsburg, check out the rest of our review series.
But let’s get back to the Opera House Theatre Company. Located right in the heart of downtown Philipsburg, the theater is generally recognized as the oldest continuously operating theater in Montana. Last summer, there were two shows available, plus a Vaudeville Variety Show, and though I haven’t yet seen the 2010 calendar, this summer looks to be right on par.
It’s the same cast for each of the shows, more or less, so when I tell you that we had a blast at the Vaudeville show, I’m confident that those seeing either of the other shows would agree it was a great performance.
You can read all about them online at OperaHouseTheatre.com and find all the info you need for upcoming events and shows. You can also find info about making reservations on the site, or you can buy tickets at the window at 140 S. Famsome St., Philipsburg, Montana.