Travel Advisory – Conditions and Guidance for Visitors and Residents

Winston Goes to the Theater. Or is it Theatre?

Winston Goes to the Theater. Or is it Theatre?

Sweet Potatoes and Other Delicacies from the Trailhead of Awesome

As I’ve been writing my blogs, I began wondering why humans spell theater differently. Sometimes, it’s theatre and other times it’s theater. I wanted to get to the bottom of this mystery, so I asked Keeper Deb. She suggested I head out and see a few live shows at some of Billings’ theaters to gather some clues.

I first headed over to the Alberta Bair Theater. I had been here before for tuba lessons but had never seen a show. This time, I got to see a live performance of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Someday I would love to visit a chocolate factory with Bert.



In addition to seeing that amazing show, I learned that the Alberta Bair Theater was created in 1987, BUT it was originally known way back in the 1920s as the Fox Theatre. So maybe the spelling of theater has something to do with age?

Anyways, I will be coming back to the Alberta Bair for sure. Some of the upcoming shows include The Ugly Duckling, Shakespeare’s Macbeth, and The Magic of Bill Blagg Live. Director Jeff loves magic so I will ask him to purchase a ticket for himself along with mine.

My quest to learn about this theater-theatre business next led me to The Babcock Theatre in the heart of downtown Billings. The Babcock Theatre was built in 1907 after a fire destroyed what had been the Billings Opera House. I was on to something with the age of a theater determining how it’s spelled.



Today, The Babcock Theatre shows all sorts of new and classic films. I enjoyed seeing one called Licorice Pizza while I was there. It was good, but there’s not much about pizza in this film. The new Batman is currently playing so I am going to see if anyone at ZooMontana wants to join me in checking out this new chapter in the life of Gotham’s Dark Knight (yes, I am well-versed in all things Batman). You should check it out, too!

My last stop was at Billings Studio Theatre. It was established in 1953 and hosts a number of different plays and musicals like The Bridges of Madison County and Here on the Flight Path. I didn’t get to see any shows when I visited, but I marked my calendar for this summer to go see Shrek the Musical!

While I didn’t discover a definitive answer on the correct way to spell theater, I learned a lot about all of the live performances humans can enjoy here in Billings. I think I’m just going to use “theatre” from now on. I think it befits the level of distinguishment of a sloth like me.

visitor guide