BOZEMAN- We talk about the evolution of Main Street in Bozeman all the time.
New restaurants going up, new bars opening and old icons closing down.
But that’s actually not the case for one iconic theater in Bozeman, some boards went up when are they coming down mid-July.
The Ellen Theater will re-open its doors with a new face, the original face it had over 100 years ago.
The façade that sat proudly over Bozeman’s Main Street for the last 50 years is in the process of coming down and the original designs are being used to build the new one.
Designed by Fred Willson, The Ellen, was just one of the many iconic buildings made by the Bozeman architect who did other buildings such as the Baxter Hotel.
He kept such great records that his original blueprints are actually being used for the remodel
But restoring it hasn’t been cheap.
“The project, the entire façade is $475,000 roughly,” John Ladin Executive Director of The Ellen said, “we’ve raised about $385,000 we’re about $90,000 short so far but what’s very nice people are still stepping up.”
The hope is to have everything up operational for the opening of the theaters musical in August.
The new façade will feature glass that’s 100 years old and restore a little bit of history back to downtown Bozeman.
In 2008 the building was re-opened by a team of local volunteers wanting to give the space back to the community, to date, almost 380,000 people have walked through the doors.
“It’s a wonderful addition to the downtown,” Ladin said as he talked about how excited it makes him to see a packed house for a show.
After this construction is complete this will be the end of phase 1 of the remodel, the theater then plans to do renovations to the inside and to the stage.