24 Jan Covellite Theatre
The Covellite originated as the First Presbyterian Church and was completed in 1896. The detailed sandstone and granite stonework with pronounced gothic architecture was a great improvement from the original wooden church that stood at the same site. Giant timber framed trusses hold up the roof and the ceiling is ornately crafted to maximize sound resonance.
In 1957 the Presbyterians left the Covellite for a new building. The original pipe organ and bells from the belfry were taken with them at that time. Around 1959 a theatre group occupied the space and called it “The Old Garden Court Theatre,” though their group seems to have dissipated by 1963. For the next thirty years the building would mostly sit vacant.
In the mid 1980’s, money was granted to put on a new roof, install insulation and repair the original stained glass windows amongst other general repairs. Though some work was being done, no one was utilizing the space for anything except storage. Some of the grant work was not completed and the stained glass windows have never gone back into the building to date.
In the mid 1990’s a family from Butte bought the building with the intention of creating a grand live theatre venue. They are responsible for the name and commissioned Weitzel Signs, of Butte, to build the Covellite marquee. They also updated electrical service and greatly improved interior aesthetics. The Covellite only ran a couple seasons before the owners’ paths led to other ventures and it became vacant once again.
Since 2015 the current owners have tried to focus on making the building as multi purpose as possible. Recent improvements to the audio and video systems have made the space compatible with many events. The Covellite is now managed by a nonprofit organization that will facilitate any foreseeable event that will benefit the community of Butte and Southwest Montana. Contact us to book a show!