Empire Theatre

118 North 27th Street,
Billings, MT 59101

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rivest266 on May 17, 2018 at 5:40 pm

Here is the history of the building.

  • February 22nd, 1913 opened as the Gem

  • 1914 closed

  • July 15th, 1916 reopened as the American Theater

  • February 1st, 1920 renamed West’s 27th St.

  • 1921 closed

  • 1927 renamed West’s 27th St. again

  • 1929 closed

  • December 23rd, 1938 reopened as Empire by Fox Intermountain Theaters, Inc.

  • 1950 closed for a final time. 1913, 1916, 1920 and 1938 grand opening ads in the photo section.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 14, 2012 at 2:32 pm

The Gem Theatre began showing movies in 1916, according to this item in the August 12 issue of The Moving Picture World:

“Billings, Mont.—Arthur Mann, proprietor of the Gem theater here, has succumbed to the lure of pictures. He shortly will reopen his playhouse with a regular offering for film fans.
Mann had only recently acquired the house, as noted in the September 16 issue of the same publication. The item also says that he had changed the name of the house to the American Theatre:
"BILLINGS, MONT.—The Gem theater, recently taken over by Arthur Mann, has been overhauled, the interior redecorated, and renamed the American.”