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Year-Round Center for the Performing Arts

The Bigfork Center is YOUR performing arts center for plays, musical theater, live music, concerts, movies & much more in Northwest Montana!

Located in the heart of Bigfork, the picturesque village on the bay, the Center features a beautiful entry and lobby area with a 435 seat theater. 

Enjoy a terrific Performance or create your own when you Rent the Center

28 years ago the Bigfork Center for the Performing Arts opened its doors for the first time.  The old theater, which had housed summer stock productions since 1960, was deemed unsafe.  Recognizing the pivotal role theater had played in the village, indeed the Flathead Valley, local folks established a non-profit foundation in 1984 enabling them to raise funds for the new structure.  Thus the Bigfork Center for the Performing Arts Foundation came into existence.  Since that time the Center and its foundation have been managed by a volunteer board of directors who are dedicated to the promotion and preservation of this iconic Bigfork facility.  

You can become a STAR and help Support Us with an annual membership or by donating to help enhance and preserve our cultural heritage for years to come.

History of the Bigfork Center

In September 1986, the Bigfork Center for the Performing Arts Foundation announced a commitment to build a new home for the Bigfork Summer Playhouse when the existing 50-year old wooden structure was condemned by fire officials. Lack of a performance facility would have terminated a 28-year history of musical theater that had grown to be a mainstay of tourist activity in the Flathead Valley, as well as an opportunity for hundreds of professional and aspiring performers, designers, and technicians to perfect their craft.

The Foundation began its campaign to raise $750,000 to build a new 435-seat, year-round facility that would house the Playhouse, as well as other cultural activities. There had never been a philanthropic effort of this type in the Flathead Valley. With a Bigfork population of less than 3,000 at that time, it was a tremendously optimistic project.  

In the end, over 800 people or organizations donated to this cause from 23 states and four foreign countries. The new theater opened June 18, 1988.

In May 2009 the Bigfork Center for the Performing Arts Foundation completed a lobby renovation and expansion. The expanded lobby opens the building to activities beyond stage productions. The lobby is no longer just the entrance to the theater, but is its own entity where receptions, dinners, art exhibits and other events can be held.

The spacious lobby, with its beautiful curved glass facade facing Electric Avenue, shimmering aurora borealis tiles on the pillars, and Tiffany-style lighting throughout, adds new elegance and sets the tone for the entire theater experience and has indeed expanded the range of events possible at The Center.

Each year the foundation is committed to improving the Center which is considered a year round attraction for the entire Flathead Valley.  In recent years the foundation has replaced the theatre sound system, upgraded lighting in the theatre and lobby, and added video equipment to show movies.  

Please help Support Us with an annual membership or by donating to help enhance and preserve our cultural heritage for years to come.

We hope to see you soon at the Bigfork Center!