Located in Historic Uptown Butte, one of the America's largest registered national historic landmark districts, the Mother Lode Theatre is Butte's showplace and place for shows. Built as the Temple Theatre in 1923, the Mother Lode has emerged, after a $3 million dollar renovation, as an opulent and fully equipped performing arts center. The Mother Lode, with its superior sight lines and acoustics, is also a favorite venue for conventions and conferences.
In 1923 the Masonic Bodies built a six-story Masonic Temple and an adjoining 1,200-seat ornate Temple Theatre in which to conduct their ceremonial services. The building housed two other ceremonial halls and spacious business offices. With the advent of the Great Depression a decade later, the Masons found it necessary to converted The Temple Theatre into a movie house, thus the Temple Theatre became the Fox Theatre. In 1996, the reconstructed theatre was named The Mother Lode to reflect Butte's mining heritage as the 'Richest Hill on Earth.'
Today, the Mother Lode is home to the Community Concert Association, the Butte Symphony, Montana Repertory Theatre, Missoula Children's Theatre, Western States Opera Company, San Diego Ballet Company, the Montana Chorale and numerous charity events staged by local organizations such as the Junior League, the YMCA, the Shriners and other civic groups.
In 1997, a lower level 106-seat children's theatre was created, The Orphan Girl Theatre, named for one of Butte's early mines. This renowned children's theatre exists to foster an artistic educational and culturally enriching environment for the children of Butte and surrounding communities with opportunities to develop their talents, skill, confidence and self-esteem through the dramatic and performing arts.