(Updated 6:30 a.m. MDT, 11/04/22)
BUTTE — With the 1923 television series expected to return to Butte next year to film its second season here, the Butte Civic Center’s operating board has agreed to allow the television show to use part of the Civic Center next year.
“It’s proved out that the benefit is worth the sacrifice to the community. The 1923 production from everything that I’ve seen and heard in the community they’ve tried to source everything locally,” said Butte Chief Executive J.P. Gallagher.
Gallagher told the board during its recent meeting that the production wants to continue to use the Civic Center's rear annex building when it starts filming again in late spring. Since last summer, the production used the entire civic center to film the Yellowstone spinoff.
Civic center officials say it’s been a good partnership.
“It’s fortunate we have them here and we can do it. It’s kind of a nice problem to have when you’re that popular,” said Civic Center Director Bill Melvin.
Melvin added the main arena for the Civic Center will be open for the major basketball and wrestling tournaments in January and February. It will also be open for Butte High’s graduation on June 1.
“I’m sure we can pull everything off, it’s not going to be exactly the same as before without the annex but we’ll pull it off,” said Melvin.
The city plans to charge the production crew $75,000 a month in rent for use of the annex.
“Those events that we lost in the fall, we would lose again, we’ll have to get in contact with all of those entities to let them know the Civic Center is going to work with 1923,” said Gallagher.
Despite some inconveniences from the filming, such as temporary road closures, city officials say the series has had a positive economic impact on the city.
“We are going to have a huge—it has a huge impact on us now—but what it’s going to bring for us to the future is going to be even bigger,” said Butte Chamber of Commerce Director Stephanie Sorini.
The Butte Council of Commissioners will have to make the final decision on the use of the Civic Center annex.