Balancing Billings’ image as a raw cowboy and oil/gas town is the 1,400-seat Alberta Bair Theater, which gives the city a booster shot of vibrancy and culture throughout the year. What began in 1931 as an ornate art-deco movie theater built by Robert Reamer (of Old Faithful Inn fame) is now a hub of artistic diversity featuring music, dance and theater – national headliners and locals alike.
January and February 2016 alone saw Flashdance: The Musical, Brian Regan Live Comedy Tour, Dr. Seuss’ Cat in the Hat, Billings Symphony, and an Arthur Miller workshop. Headliners in March 2016 alone: Garrison Keillor, Lyle Lovett and Mamma Mia. Alberta M. Bair was the daughter of Charles M. Bair, a railroad magnate and one of the country’s largest sheep ranchers at the turn of the previous century. Alberta was born in a house that was built where the theater named after her now stands.