singer-songwriter Paul Spring will perform in concert at the historic Rialto
Community Theatre in Deer Lodge on Wednesday, October 30, at 7pm.Admission is a suggested donation of $5 per
person for an evening of interactive family music. Spring writes, performs, and records music
that inspires literacy and imagination.He was raised by two literature professors on the banks of the
Mississippi River in Minnesota, surrounded by stories, and he is an English
boyhood was shaped by his father’s favorite Dostoevsky quote “Some beautiful,
sacred memory, preserved since childhood, is perhaps the best education of
all.”Growing up with nine siblings he
imagined the scenes, characters, and adventures from his favorite books, and he
enlivens these stories for students in his school performances as well as the
children and families who listen to his music.
debut family album, “Home of Song” features an array of talented musicians with
him, and recently won a “Parent’s Choice Gold Award.”It highlights his infectious melodies, groovy
progressions, and imaginative storytelling, and delivers an unforgettable batch
of amusing and enlightening songs.USA
Today said “It’s a story, a song, and some good theater of the mind all rolled
into one in this beautifully spun tale.”Stefan Shepherd on NPR’s “All Things Considered” said “Home of Song is
an ode to books and stories, and to the families who nurture them.I don’t know if the family who reads and sings
together stays together, but albums like this one make a convincing
argument.”More information about
the artist and the concert is available www.paulspringmusic.comand www.deerlodgerialto.com
For release Oct 20, 2013
This program has been a great boone for the Rialto! The
State Employees have contributed over $12,000. in our efforts to
rebuild. They can continue to help us in our ongoing efforts to
finish and maintain our community theater!
Montana State Employees Can
and you can
County Literacy Program
County Community Foundation
Wm. K. Kohrs
Memorial Library Foundation
of other organizations across Montana
Port Polson Players return to Deer Lodge to present the family-friendly
“Those Boomer Boys” at 7 p.m. Saturday in the restored Rialto Theater,
418 Main Street in Deer Lodge. Tickets are $15 adults and $10 students
11 and under, and will be available at the door, at Valley Foods and
Keystone Drug in Deer Lodge, and at Steele’s Furniture in Butte.
DEER LODGE – Yes, they’ll address first kisses Saturday
night at the Rialto.
would be hard to escape the subject, being that “Those Boomer Boys”
promises nostalgia along with humor and harmony in a triumphant return
to a triumphant Deer Lodge’s restored, historic and memory-flooded
“We’ll be talking to those people up in the balcony,”
Neal Lewing advises.
is one of the four “Booming Boys” from the Port Polson Players in
Polson. Days after fire ravaged the 85-year-old community theater in
November 2006, they volunteered to make the 150-mile trip to Deer Lodge
to perform their new show about life, love, laughter and, especially,
music in the 1950s and ’60s.
“Neal Lewing called us while the
theater was still burning and said, ‘Give us a date, we’re coming to do
a benefit,’ ” Rialto Community Theater president Steve Owens said on
Facebook this week. “They gave us hope when we were at our lowest.”
fire devastated the interior and roof of the theater, which the
community had revived starting in the mid-1990s into a popular spot for
weekend movies and school and civic group performances.
Neal Lewing, owners of the Port Polson Players company, had co-founded
and produced the Old Prison Players in Deer Lodge from 1989-2001,
staging nearly 50 shows at the Rialto.
Like much of western
Montana, they quickly heard about the fire on the Saturday evening of
Nov. 4, 2006. Both are staunch preservationists when it comes to “those
kinds of old treasures,” Neal said this week, noting that in its early
years the Rialto was a stop on a highly competitive Montana vaudeville
“We got hold of people and said, ‘What’s the plan? Are
you just going to bulldoze it or are you going to try to redo it?’ They
said we’re redoing it, absolutely.”
Next question: What are your fundraising capabilities?
said it just happened the other day. We’re not really thinking about
that yet,” Lewing said. “I said here’s the deal. We’ve got this show
and we’ve got connections, and we’re coming down and kicking off your
fundraising drive with this show.”
The “boomers” were and are
Neal Lewing, John Glueckert, Bob Mazurek and Steve Nelson, all from
Polson and all between the ages of 59 and 62. Their piano accompanist
is Trish Tavenner, who once lived and ran a flower shop in Deer Lodge.
To a man – and woman – they jumped at the chance to play
a benefit show for the theater.
gymnasium at the school district’s Central Park Center, 2 1/2 blocks
from the Rialto, was “packed and jumping” the night of Nov. 30, 2006,
“It’s a great show. It’s good for everybody, because
some of those old songs, they just never die.”
“Blue Moon.” “Chantilly Lace.” “When I Fall in Love.”
Elvis. Buddy Holly. The Beach Boys. Protest songs of the
Sock hops. Hot rods. Poodle skirts. Ducktail haircuts.
The show struck a joyful chord in Deer Lodge.
“People were so happy about it they said once the new
stage is ready to go we want you guys to come back,” Lewing said.
promised in 2006 to have them perform on the Rialto stage, but had no
idea at that time how long it would take to rebuild and reopen,” Owens
said. “We’re so grateful for the great start they gave to our
fundraising, and for their willingness to give another great show to
help us keep going.”
The Rialto fire occurred a week after “Those
Boomer Boys” closed its first season. They’ve taken it on tour every
year since, from the Montana Hi-Line to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
tweak it here and there and put this in and take this out,” Lewing
said. “But it’s still high energy and lots of fun. We cover a lot of
territory in a short amount of time. We hit on 50 or 60 songs. Some are
medleys, of course, and some are full songs.”
The Rialto, which
also presents the brand new animated sports comedy “Turbo” on its
digital projecting system this weekend, reopened to the public in May
It was a triumphant and moving return following a
$3.5-million, recession-era rebuilding project, one that was funded in
phases by children’s bake sales, matching contributions of $100,000 and
more, state preservation grants and hundreds of private contributions.
“We have had a busy
months since we reopened, and we’re keeping the bills paid, we have no
debt, and we keep making improvements and finishing things,” Owens
said. “Last month we got a grant for an assisted listening system for
the movies for those severely hard of hearing, for example.”
Owens said last year that more than $1 million were
trimmed from the original estimates, in part by design alterations.
the balcony remained in the plans. And not just a few folks who grew up
here during the golden age of motion pictures remember that section of
the Rialto as clearly as they recall “Blue Suede Shoes.”
It’s a notion that won’t escape the “boomer boys”
done the show for seven years, probably close to 100 times,” Neal
Lewing said. “We’re comfortable enough with it that we can kind of
stray a little bit here and there if something triggers something in a
particular location for a particular event that we need to take off on.”
Reporter Kim Briggeman can be reached at (406) 523-5266
or by email at email@example.com.
SPECIAL EVENT COMING SOON!!
Boomer Boys” Show
To Benefit Rialto Theatre
Boomer Boys” return to Deer Lodge for one night only, Saturday,
performing at the newly restored Rialto Community Theatre in Deer Lodge.Curtain time for “Those
Boys” is 7pm.Tickets
for this benefit performance are $15
for adults and $10 for children 11 and under, and are available in
Valley Foods and Keystone Drug in Deer Lodge and Steele’s in Butte, and
door on the 14th.
high-energy full-length show features humor, harmony, and hijinks from
Boom era (1946-1964) performed by four real Boomer boys.John Glueckert, Bob
Mazurek, Steve Nelson,
and Neal Lewing perform, with former Deer Lodge resident Trish Tavenner
classic tunes like “Blue Moon,” “Chantilly Lace,” “I Get Around,” “When
in Love,” “Blue Suede Shoes,” an Elvis medley to leave you all shook
many more.In fact,
over 75 songs
represent the golden age of American musical repertoire.
show has history, too.And
abounds as the fellas spin through such memory-inducing escapades as
those crazy clothes, first car, first kiss, and oooh, Betty Lou. It’s
see why “Those Boomer Boys” has been called“the most uplifting show of the decade.”
was severely damaged by fire in November, 2006, and reopened in May
a $3.5million rebuilding project.“This
was the first show to kick off the fundraising efforts, just three
the fire, “ says Neal Lewing, whose Deer Lodge roots run deep.He and his wife Karen
founded and produced
the Old Prison Players for 13 seasons, which included several major
the Rialto stage.“We
love these old
Montana theatres and when we heard about the fire, we knew we had to do
could to help.
information is available at www.deerlodgerialto.com,
on Facebook, and at 406-846-7900.“Those
Boomer Boys” is produced by the Port Polson Players and Black Paw Music
Polson, in association with Mission Valley Friends of the Arts.
Contact: Steve Owens,406-846-3413,firstname.lastname@example.org
National recognition on our restoration efforts from the
TRUST FOR HISTORIC PRESERVATION
NATIONAL TRUST FOR HISTORIC
11 years (and more than $100,000
in upgrades) after the community of Deer
Lodge, Montana, banded together in 1995 to save their local theater,
struck when a fire destroyed everything but the facade, side walls, and
Determined not to
let the theater go,
the town pulled together once again and rebuilt --and yesterday, the Rialto Community Theater
celebrated its first birthday.
FOLLOWING STORY WAS FROM THE
of which appears on the Facebook pages,
Community Theater and the National Trust For Historic Preservation)
Deer Lodge, Montana’s Rialto Theater Rises from the
Posted on:May 17th, 2013byDavid Robert Weible3
The Rialto Theater in Deer Lodge, Mont., c. 1942
often said that small towns enjoy an enhanced sense of community; they
are places where neighbors work together, help one another, and pitch
in for the common good. Nowhere does that seem to be truer than in Deer
Lodge, a tiny town of 3,400 located an hour and a half southeast of
Missoula, in western Montana.
Since 1921, Deer
Lodge's Rialto Theater
has sat at the heart of the town, and as the only auditorium in the
area, hosted events from rotary talent shows to weekend movies. In
1995, with the National Register-listed theater deteriorating and its
ownership no longer able to maintain it, members of the community
banded together to form Rialto Community Theater, Inc., a nonprofit
that would run the theater and lead a restoration project.
By 2006, the organization had poured more than $100,000
into upgrading the theater. Then, disaster struck.
Rialto Theater fire on November 4, 2006
November 4, 2006, the Rialto went up in flames. Locals gathered on the
street to watch the blaze shoot 50 feet into the sky. It took three
days and 3 million gallons of water to put out the fire. All that
remained of the town’s centerpiece were the facade, side walls, and the
stage that had been hidden behind the theater’s asbestos curtain along
with five original 1921 backdrops.
But the town wasn’t ready to give the Rialto up that
three weeks after the fire we had some engineers look at it and got
some estimates from the architects,” remembers Steve Owens, president
of the Rialto Community Theater, Inc. “We had a
meeting and there were about 250 people there and when we asked,
‘Should we rebuild?’ all but three people raised their hands.”
Still, with all the enthusiasm, the odds of completing
the $3.5 million project were against them.
average income is lower than most of Montana, and [Montana is] lower
than most of the country,” says Owens, “so when some of these people
gave five dollars, you knew they were taking it out of their grocery
Community volunteers finishing hallway off the lobby, 2012. (right)
Local schoolchildren raised nearly $2,000 by collecting and saving
spare change. Here a student in Mrs. Thompson’s class shows off her
fundraising progress at the local bank, Pioneer Federal. The bank
matched the students' funds, plus other fundraisers.
children pitched in and held dances, bake sales, and penny drives --
eventually collecting more than $20,000 for the project. Community
organizations from the Elks Club to the local golf club held events to
raise money, while more than $100,000 came in from personal memorials
alone. Kenneth Turan, the film critic for the Los Angeles Times, wrote an article about the Rialto
in August 2011, and money poured in from at least 40 different states.
of the theater began in July of 2008, and intent on not incurring any
debt, Rialto Community Theater, Inc. proceeded with the project as
funds became available. To save money, local volunteers completed any
tasks they could. One group of volunteers showed up in the evenings
each week for four months straight to install the theater’s flooring.
High school students in art and shop classes painted the theater’s
ceiling and built steps for the stage.
Since the theater
reopened on May 19, 2012, it has become not only a source of pride for
Deer Lodge, but a source of empowerment and inspiration for other
projects, like the $3.5 million restoration currently taking place on
the Hotel Deer Lodge down the street.
Restored exterior of the Rialto Theater, 2010
they talk about the good things that make a community, this cooperation
that we seem to have is one of them here,” says Owens who added that
along with a full slate of events this spring from children’s theater
productions to music festivals, the theater is also hosting charity
events for other groups.
“Now that we’ve reopened we can go back to doing things
for [the community],” he says.
ARE NOW FOR
YOUR NAME OR YOUR FAMILY’S
NAME WILL BE DISPLAYED IN A PROMINENT PLACE IN THE NEW RIALTO
THIS IS A GREAT GIFT IDEA
Contact any board member for
Checks can be sent
to: P.O. Box 874, Deer Lodge, MT 59722
ACCEPTED THROUGH PAYPAL BY CLICKING ON THE LINK AT THE BOTTOM OF THE
Rex Connell, Martel
, Bozeman, MT
THE GENEROUS SUPPORT OF ALL OF YOU FROM ALL PARTS OF THIS
SINCERELY THANK YOU!!!
....but we have a VERY little ways to go yet so let's keep it up!!
GIFT NOTIFICATION CARDS ARE NOW AVAILABLE FOR ANY
SPECIAL OCCASION GIVING! UPON RECEIPT OF YOUR DONATION IN ANYONE'S
HONOR WE WILL SEND A BEAUTIFUL CARD NOTIFYING THEM OF YOUR GIFT TO THE
RIALTO RESTORATION FUND IN THEIR HONOR! These cards have been
designed and made for us by Studio 518 West and are exclusive
to our Rialto Restoration efforts!
2008----ON-GOING FUNDRAISERS....The following is a list of the ongoing
fundraisers now going on in Deer Lodge for the Rialto Restoration
SEATS: Seats are
now for sale for the price of $300 each. Names will be
displayed inside the building. Use Donation Form, call
Steve, or Gayle for more information.
Studio 518 West has created some
beautiful blank note cards with images of our beloved
Rialto. All proceeds generously going to the Rialto. Call Gayle at 846-1614 to
order these beautiful cards.
AWARE & ANACONDA
RECYCLING will be giving us $.40/lb. for all aluminum collected. Cans
may be dropped off at the lot across from R & C Home
Improvement on Milwaukee Ave. Hours: 8:00 to 5:30
Mon.-Fri.....8:30 to 5:00 Sat.
MUGS are still for sale. Diana Solle has donated the
remaining mugs to us and you can purchase one at R & C Home
Improvement, 100 Milwaukee Ave., Deer Lodge, MT 59722, at MRC
Station, 520 Main St., Deer Lodge, or by
contacting either Steve or Gayle.. They may now be purchased at the
theater when it is open! (see FUNDRAISING
t-shirts are still for sale by contacting Steve Owens or may be
purchased at the theater.(see
DONATION JARS AT
TINA SCHOWENGERDT (donated $2248.32 to 1/26/2012) and KEYSTONE DRUG
(donated $399.80 to 1/26/2012) Thanks to all!
TRULY APPRECIATE ALL OF THESE BUSINESSES HELPING US OUT....AND WOULD
ASK YOU TO SUPPORT THEIR EFFORTS!