Harmon’s Histories: Whatever happened to Superior’s Dreamland dance pavilion?
By Jim Harmon/Missoula Current
Let me take you to “Dreamland.” Well, Dreamland, the dance pavilion in Superior, Montana, during the ballroom days of the 1930s.
But it’s also a bit of a mystery.
Dreamland was a combination movie theater/dance pavilion. It opened November 30, 1933 at the site of the old Strand Theater.
Over the next few months, into 1934, “extensive repairs” were required to transform the theater into the new venue, which the local newspaper, the Mineral Independent, referred to as an “amusement hall.”
Floors had to be resurfaced, and the floor space had to be increased.
Opening night featured “a first-class attraction with a star that has a national reputation.” The film was “Professional Sweethearts” starring Ginger Rogers, and admission was 25 cents for adults and 15 cents for children 12 or younger.
The article added that a dance would follow at the pavilion, with music by The Montanans.
At other times, Lee and Charles Gildersleeve’s orchestra (well, it was just the two of them) were reported to have “furnished the music for the occasion” and the “prompting was done by Harry Forry.”
“Both square and round dances were indulged in.”
August 1934 saw the last mention of Dreamland. “The Broadway Cavaliers, a traveling orchestra of 12 young men, will play a return engagement at the Dreamland pavilion, tomorrow night, Friday, August 17.”
“The young men are good musicians and those who enjoy dancing will not be disappointed when the orchestra returns here.”
But that was it – the last article to be found.
Whatever happened to the Dreamland Pavilion?
Some people thought it burned down, but there’s no newspaper record of that.
What have you heard? It would be fascinating to know more. Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jim Harmon is a longtime Missoula news broadcaster, now retired, who writes a weekly history column for Missoula Current. You can contact Jim at email@example.com. His best-selling book, “The Sneakin’est Man That Ever Was,” a collection of 46 vignettes of Western Montana history, is available at harmonshistories.com.