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Alberta Bair Theater receives biggest donation for upcoming Billings project

Posted: 6:45 PM, Aug 30, 2018
Updated: 2019-07-17 14:51:48-04

BILLINGS – The Alberta Bair Theater recently received its largest individual donation in history, just in time for renovations next spring in downtown Billings.

Philanthropists and supporters of the arts and theater, Jim and Chris Scott, donated $1 million.

The public part of the campaign is also kicking off, with another $2.5 million needed to reach the $12 million goal, according to Jan Dietrich, the theater’s executive director.

The project will update acoustics, lighting, the elevator, and the lobby.

“It’ll be beautiful,” Dietrich said. “It’ll be very inviting, a place people want to come. You’ll be able to see in, so if you’re driving by at night, you’ll know something’s going on.”

The theater has been something the community wants to preserve.

“It’s an important part of people’s lives and once you experience, you just want more,” Dietrich said. “It’s such a great feeling. It’s what the theater, what a theater does to your community. And then what performing arts does to your soul.”

The plan is to close the theater and start construction on May 1, 2019 and reopen in September 2020.