The Helena Civic Center began construction in the autumn of 1919 as the western district Algeria Shrine Temple. Today it is owned by the City of Helena. Built as the headquarters of the Algeria Shrine, this Moorish Revival style building is a popular photo opportunity for visitors.
The building' suffered damage in the 1935 earthquake and the City of Helena purchased it the following year. It was the home of city offices until 1976, when they were moved to the current City-County Administrative Building. The City's Main Fire Station, however, is still located at the Civic Center.
The Helena Civic Center is a rental facility for the City of Helena. The Auditorium is used as a venue for off-Broadway touring acts, as well as out-of-state and local events. In 1921 'The March King' John Philip Sousa's band came to town to celebrate the opening of the Auditorium and since has been heavily used. Live! At the Civic: holds its season's events in the Auditorium, as does the Helena Symphony. Other annual events include performances of the Nutcracker, middle and high school concerts and other touring road shows.
Another rental facility within the Helena Civic Center is the Ballroom. Events held in the Ballroom include banquets and auctions; craft shows; antique shows; health fairs and expos; dances and proms, wedding receptions, educational, business and public meetings and Intermountain's annual Festival of Trees.
The building has undergone extensive renovation over the years, including upgrades to the Auditorium's sound, lighting and rigging systems. Chandeliers were also added several years ago. In the Ballroom, an elevator was installed many years ago to allow access to the Mezzanine level. Another major improvement was the leveling of the main Ballroom floor to create safer access and more usable space. Many aesthetic improvements have been done including custom carpeting, chandelier lighting, acoustical wall coverings, and glass and brass railings. General improvements to the building include restroom renovation to increase capacity and meet compliance with ADA requirements. The use of beautiful tile with glass brick in the lobby restrooms make them showcases themselves. Multiple other aesthetic improvements have turned this unique building into the crown jewel of Helena.
For event bookings, call the City of Helena - Helena Civic Center at (406) 447-8481.