Missoula, Montana, a city surrounded by towering Rocky Mountain trails, is home to the very first and now the longest running wildlife film festival in the country. The next festival will run from April 18 to 25, 2015, and all works are shown on one of the three screens at the Roxy Theater.
The storied history of Missoula's Roxy Theater includes a catastrophic fire that nearly ruined the place in 1994. But with the help of numerous funders and lots of local support, the Wildlife Film Festival rebuilt the ruins and helped revitalize the neighborhood.
Now the area around the Roxy, known as the "Hip Strip," boasts cool bars, great restaurants, and funky shops where you can pick up everything from Missoula-made beer to high-end fabrics from around the world.
Janet Rose, the Executive Director of the film festival, grew up New York City where she attended the United Nations International School and the prestigious Bronx School of Science, but she landed in Missoula with a vision. Her creation is one of the many arts programs that make this quirky Montana town a special place to explore.
The Roxy is located at 718 S. Higgins Ave. The "Hip Strip" runs up Higgins Avenue from the Roxy to the bridge that takes drivers, bikers, and walkers over the majestic Clark Fork River.