Text by Holly Matkin • Photography by Daphne Wade
The Belt Theater Company, 64 Castner Street – The Belt Theater’s New Era
If you love the arts and old frontier towns, trek over to the Belt Knights of Pythias building to witness the rebirth of the Belt Theater as it approaches its 101st birthday.
The Board of the Belt Theater Company has been working tirelessly to restore the structure. “This is a twenty year dream that’s finally coming together for a group of volunteers,” explains Gary Gray, President of the Board. “The exterior now looks exactly like it did in 1916, but the interior is one hundred percent new.”
Belt resident and project fundraiser Del Darko looks forward to having a venue for musical and theater performances, and the building’s old silent movie theater space is an obvious draw. “I like that we’re saving a historical building and bringing arts to rural Montana,” he says. “Plus, I’m a bit of a nostalgia junkie.”
Belt Mercantile and Art Gallery, 78 Castner Street – Eclectic Treasures by Local Artists
Escape into a world of beadwork, bronze and brushstrokes while meandering through Belt Mercantile and Art Gallery. Owner and curator Anne Erickson offers a plethora of western art themed pieces, including quilts, lamps constructed from saddles, and a variety of jewelry.
After years as a physical therapist, Anne established a singular goal for her retirement. “I just wanted to have fun!” she laughs, “And I wanted to contribute to the local community, to support local artists and to get to know people without having spent the past twenty years in town.” When a spontaneous trip landed her in Belt, she immediately knew it was home. “These are truly the nicest people I have ever met,” she says. “It’s serendipity.”
The Belt Mercantile and Art Gallery is open this now through Christmas.
Harvest Moon Brewing Company, 57 Castner Street – The Life of Brewing
Ever wonder what it takes to make the refreshing Harvest Moon craft beer you swill on these lazy summer days? Stan Guedesse and the crew at Harvest Moon Brewing Company invite thirsty beer-lovers to come and witness the brewing and packaging processes by taking in one of their daily brewery tours –and to sample one of their ten taps, of course.
“We have great brewing water from the Madison Aquifer,” Stan explains. “We make a good, consistent product, which is pretty hard for a lot of small breweries.”
And while we love catchy names like “Pig’s Ass Porter” and locally-themed label artwork, it is the quality and taste of Harvest Moon’s brews that keep customers thirsting for more.
We’ll drink to that.