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Here is a link to the pictures I took in the Mezzanine and Balcony areas of the Theatre, that remain above the Banana Republic Store.
As I remember, the liberty stopped showing films back in the 50’s. Back then, it still had the large upright sign that spelled out LIBERTY and later it become a skating rink.
I was just there a few weeks ago and the building is now used as a gym. The interior is still totally open, as it must have been when it was a theatre. A number of structures used by the Gym have been built inside the shell.
The building has nothing that looks like it had a stage or fly loft.
I have pictures of the building, which I will post when this sites picture feature is working.
The theatre is still in operation although many years ago it was renamed the FRONTIER.
The Original marquee, which had an upright sign, which spelled out â€œIDEALâ€ and a V-shaped marquee reader board below. It was a beautiful sign with lots of neon.
The entire marquee was removed and rough wood siding was applied to the outside to fit with the Frontier motif. A small reader board became part of the outer edge of the canopy above the entrance. As I remember, an old wagon was placed in the lobby.
The auditorium was long and narrow, had two side aisles, a stage, and from the outside what appears to be a stage house with fly loft. I never saw the stage in use and it may have been removed to add seats before the 50â€™s. (I grew up in Emmett in the 50’s and 60’s and attended the theatre weekly) The theatre has a small balcony with entrance stairs on either side of the lobby. (I remember the balcony a bit differently than it is now, so either my memory is off or it has been altered.)
Recently the rough wood has been removed and the exterior painted a sort of pink color. The exterior box office was removed back when the frontier theme was added, and the box office became part of the concession stand inside.
I understand that the theatre has a new owner and some people in town want him to rename it IDEAL, but a new marquee may be too expensive right now.
At he present time the theatre has no upright or marquee of any kind. Just some poster cases by the front doors.
The Art Moderne facade of the building has an air conditioner sticking out of the front. Looks like someone took a hammer and just broke through the brick and stucco and stuck it in.
I stopped by the Gem County Historical Museum and looked at a picture they had of the IDEAL in its glory days. It brought back fond memories.
I have pictures of what the theatre looks like now and will post them when this site gets its new photo system finished.
I Was in Seattle a couple of weeks ago and lucky enough to get a tour of the remaining intact parts of the Coliseum Theatre.
Accessible only through a hidden door, then up a small circular staircase one arrives at a door leading to a hallway that would have been the far left aisle leading to the landing which runs the width of the theatre between the mezzanine and the balcony.
There is no architectural detail left in the hallway, but high up on the walls of the auditorium some of the elaborate design elements remain.
The top half of the Proscenium arch remains and the detail work forming an elaborate design framing the arch is largely intact, except for the far left side which has crumbled. I was told it fell during an earthquake a number of years ago.
A false ceiling begins at the front of the mezzanine then covers what would have been the orchestra seating, and cuts the proscenium in half. The plaster relief of Dionysus at the apex of the arch still looks out over what remains of his theater. The area below the false ceiling is the Banana Republic Store.
There is a large empty area above and behind where the screen would have been in back of the arch. As I understand it, this theatre did not have a stage so this was possibly the organ loft, but from where I was it did look sort of like a Stage House.
The upper walls of the auditorium are pretty much intact although lower down you can see where much of the ornamentation was removed, leaving some painted areas (a really horrible green color)and some areas with patterns where plaster or woodwork were originally.
The main aisle that would have led from the upper lobby and main staircase (from under the balcony) is walled off. Behind this wall is the high vaulted ceiling of the main store entry area.
The cement risers from the front of the mezzanine to the back of the balcony, which held each row of seats are all intact but there are no seats left. Some of the original Brass from stair handrails is still in place.
The store has used a number of original plaster elements from the theatre in it’s interior design.
The original theatre safe, which had been on display in the store, was recently sold and removed.
This theatre had an elevator, which apparently went from the basement to the balcony. The steel sliding gates to the elevator are still in the basement.
Also in the basement are large rooms where I think that the air handling system and blowers might have been and the entrances to the caves under the seating areas for the return air are intact.
The most wonderful thing down there are the huge neon letters, which used to stand above the marquee and spelled the name of the theatre: COLISEUM. I remember those letters shining brightly in front of the theatre many years ago. Some of the letters are used in the store’s Christmas display each year.
The building has apparently been sold recently, but Banana Republic has a very long term lease so it does not appear that any changes will be made any time soon.
The exterior of the building is nearly perfect, although the front where the marquee would have been was altered a great deal when the store was built inside.
The carved words COLISEUM are still standing tall at the top of the building faÃ§ade facing the street on each side, although tall trees block most views and if you didnâ€™t know that the lettering was up there you could easily miss it.
I took a few pictures of what is left in the upper reaches of the theatre but donâ€™t know how to post them to this site.
In the entrance to one of the dressing rooms in the main store are framed pictures of the original theatre.
I remember seeing some films at this theatre in the 50’s and 60’s and was so excited that at least a portion of this magnificent Movie Palace still exists.