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Is hit show '1923' ditching Butte for its second season?

1923 BUTTE STREET.jpg
Posted at 6:26 PM, May 22, 2024

BUTTE — Famed actress Helen Mirren probably won't be shopping at the Walmart in Butte anytime soon—production of the hit series "1923" is moving to Austin, Texas, for the second season.

Is the hit show '1923' ditching Butte for its second season?

According to the Austin Business Journal, a spokesperson for the show's production company confirmed the second season will be shooting at Austin-based ATX Film Studios.

As we reported in September 2023, Butte's future with the "Yellowstone" prequel starring Mirren and Harrison Ford became uncertain when last year's writer's strike delayed the start of shooting for season two.

It's not clear if all shooting for the next season of "1923" will take place in Austin, according to the Austin Business Journal report, and the spokesperson couldn't share further details.

Production of the show's first season was an economic boon for the Mining City, earning a location award for the filming in Butte, leading to some disappointment at this new development.

“Quite frankly, it’s very disappointing and disappointing in the fact that the legislature voted out the tax credit that would have been very beneficial to the production,” said Butte Civic Center Manager Bill Melvin.

The Montana Legislature last year voted down extending tax credits to incentivize the television and movie industry to film in the state.

Some believe this is why the 1923 production decided to film the second season in Austin, Texas, instead of Butte.

Helen Mirren and Kelly Clarkson dish about shopping at Butte's Walmart:

Shoppers react as Helen Mirren and Kelly Clarkson talk about Butte's Walmart

“It almost felt like when they were here it was almost like college was in session, because the town was so bustling and then it was very obvious when they stopped filming,” said Jackie Vetter, actress and director of the Anaconda Ensemble Theatre.

It isn’t just lost work for local actors and extras - some believe it had a major impact on Butte’s economy when the film crew was here in 2022.

“It hit everybody in a positive way. It was fresh money in Butte,” said Melvin

Actress Melanie Rae Wendt of Butte worked as an extra on the product and said it’s heartbreaking to see it go.

Melanie Rae Wendt
Melanie Rae Wendt

“For many businesses in Butte they say a huge economic boost, I mean, shoot, Helen Mirren went to our Walmart, like, that couldn’t have done anything but boost our economy,” said Wendt.

Even nearby Anaconda benefited.

“I went into the Black Dog when they were doing production and they were in there daily looking for props and things so it was impacting not only Butte’s local economy, but southwest Montana as a whole,” said Vetter.

The loss of 1923 will not discourage local artists.

“We’re going to keep making movies. We have too many talented people in the acting community, in the costuming and makeup communities, screening writing, directing, we have way too many talented people here to not continue to make movies,” said Wendt.