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Friends of the Midwest Theater preserves the history and architecture of the Midwest Theater in downtown Scottsbluff and brings the building to life by presenting: movies and documentary films, performing arts (including theatre, children's theatre, dance, and music), and school and community educational programming (touching on topics like art, theatre, dance, music, language, agriculture, science, humanities, the environment, cultural diversity, and health).

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Address: 1707 BROADWAY
Scottsbluff, NE 69361
Phone Number: 308-632-4311
The Midwest Theater's 60-foot steel-and-aluminium marquee spire lit up the night in downtown Scottsbluff for the first time in May 1946. The magnificent Art Moderne theater building entertained generations of theatergoers until its owners opened the multiplex at the mall in 1996 and shuttered the Midwest. In 1997, the Oregon Trail Community Foundation (OTCF) acquired the theater, which was added to the National Registry of Historic Places.

OTCF helped organize Friends of the Midwest Theater in 1998 to preserve the historic building and give it new life by expanding its role beyond movie screenings to include musical performance, stage shows, and community conversations. In 2018, the Midwest Theater is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its new life as a community-oriented arts and entertainment venue. Over two decades, FMT restored, renovated and expanded the theater building to preserve its historic character and meet the theater's need to become a modern multi-purpose event space.

The Midwest Theater has a single screen with a seating capacity of 729, and is operated with a small paid staff and a roster of 200-300 volunteers. The Midwest Theater provides low-cost arts and cultural programming and opportunities for education, entertainment, and community engagement that would otherwise be unavailable in our community. Each year, more than 30,000 patrons pass through the Midwest Theater doors, including some 8,000 students attending FREE educational programming. The theater has been recognized for the success of its core programs and services, earning the Governor's Arts Award for Organizational Achievement in 2012.
"The most important thing I learned was that I could try and succeed in playing on instruments and trying new things wouldn't hurt."
-Student, Ranky Tanky educational matinee

"I wish I could bring my whole family to that show."
-Student, Moon Mouse educational matinee

"It is great for the students to experience the different cultures of dance, music, and other performing arts. A lot of our students would not get this exposure with their families, so it's nice for them to get to experience it through school."
-Teacher, Ballet West educational matinee

"It was extremely interesting to hear about previous gigs and careers, as well as some "tricks of the trade.""
-Student, The Texas Tenors master class

"I have a student who is bullied and really identified with the play. He came up to me and said "I'm the mouse.""
-Teacher, Moon Mouse educational matinee

"I really enjoyed this because I play in orchestra and I want to play the cello in 6th grade."
-Student, Portland Cello Project educational matinee

"My favorite part was when the conductor showed us how to conduct and even asked three kids to go up and conduct the orchestra."
-Student, Russian String Orchestra educational matinee

"Science on Screen is important to inspire little schools, like us, to think bigger."
-Student, Science on Screen Future Weather matinee

"The Midwest is well managed and fits the needs/wants of this community. There is no question that the community needs this venue." - Strategic plan survey respondent

"I absolutely love that it is still the same as when I was a young girl!!! Beautiful theater & love how it gives back to our community!!! Thanks to all who put so much into this beautiful theater!!!"
-Patron, Facebook review

"We saw the science circus and it was the best time. He was so good at making science fun! I haven't seen my son laugh so hard in a long time!"
-Patron, Facebook review

"I love this beautiful historic theater, both for movies and the performing arts series. The prices are very reasonable and the popcorn is wonderful! They also bring movies and programs that other theaters don't offer."
-Patron, Facebook review