The Alberta Bair Theater is committed to nourishing the lives of everyone in the community by providing a wholesome variety of exciting learning experiences in the arts for educators and their students. Committed to providing exciting, engaging and practical learning opportunities, the theater aims to encourage teachers to become better mentors.
Considered to be the largest and most equipped performing arts theater in Montana, the ABT was created to cater to the needs of local and professional touring companies. Designed from a sculptural approach, the main lobby's great features are shape, space and light - all of which add more appeal to the theater. Visitors will find two concession areas, the bigger of which affords smoothly run receptions. The second concession area can be found on the mezzanine floor along with the public restrooms and extra lobby space.
The theater, seating 1,400, affords excellent sight-lines including those in the main floor, balcony and loge. Prime seat arrangement is guaranteed by the continental seating on the main floor. The custom-built orchestra shell and large vinyl dance floor provide complete versatility while the orchestra pit situated below the stage has a capacity for 40 musicians.
Responsible for the raising and lowering of the stage apron for performances is the theater?s 20-ton capacity hydraulic lift. The lift also conveniently transport furniture and equipment on and off stage as well as affording direct access to the dressing rooms for wardrobe cases that can accommodate more than 40 performers.
The Alberta Bair Theater showcases a week-long program for teachers from communities and schools across the state each summer. Focusing on the arts strategies across the curriculum, the program is held at the MSU-B downtown campus and onstage at the theater and is being handled by the Kennedy Center Workshop Leaders.
The Alberta Bair Theater has played a major role in the cultural scene in Billings for more than 80 years. The theater, with its chandeliers, art deco design, dressing rooms and stage, was funded in part by the 20th Century Fox Corporation, which bought the property from Charles M. Bair. The Fox Theater had the reputation of being the last Art Deco style theater in the United States.