After being closed all summer, the renovated Wilma (just Wilma, no theatre) debuted on Friday (10/3) night with a family friendly open house.

Missoulians got their first chance to see, and hear, the amazing update to the historic landmark. The event was free and featured the Whizpops and the Lil' Smokies along with beer and wine.

I was able to catch the Lil' Smokies and the sound was absolutely outstanding. You can see the massive new speaker system and lighting in the photos.

The popcorn concession stand in the lobby has been removed, opening up floor space, but there are still 2 bars on the main level, which have been extended for ordering from within the venue, without having to miss your show. Brilliant! There is also a permanent merch space on the main floor.

The bar upstairs is gone and the bathrooms are completely renovated. The ripped up, vintage red chairs in the balcony have been replaced and no chairs remain downstairs, except for a few re-movables that were placed with tables at the open house.

In addition, the new venue comes with a new logo featuring Wilma herself, a beautiful new "backstage" area, new fabric on the walls, new signature red curtains and best of all, new sound system.

Tonight (10/5) is the official grand opening of The Wilma with a sold out show by My Morning Jacket. The new venue is impressive and gorgeous, but as I posted on my personal Facebook page after seeing it:

For me, seeing the new Wilma was like running into a former punk rock girlfriend, who cleaned up, became classy & got a grown up job. The girlfriend that would never want anything to do my dirty, foul bands again.

 

At the end of the day, I am genuinely happy that the 'ol girl got a much needed make over and that Missoula can boast having an actual user friendly and permanent venue in this town. Even if I never see another metal show there again, I am proud that the final show before renovations was a Blaze show.