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That’s what I said too when it happened last week. Initial reports had said that police noticed the back entrance was opened, but also didn’t say if that door had been opened beforehand. It was a few days away from getting a public inspection that would’ve made it possible for the new owners to open their mini-mall in there. However, a new article posted at the Tri-City Herald states that the fire may have been due to electrical issues. I’m not sure if that is true, although if the owner was that close from an inspection, this obviously meant that he failed. Here’s the article in question. http://www.tri-cityherald.com/2013/08/20/2531701/liberty-theater-building-blaze.html
The theater is on the corner of 3rd St & Bronstad St.
A photo of the Viking, 2010: http://www.flickr.com/photos/old-curmudgeon/5264156902/
and two more photos, from a blog entry (they are photos #4 and #5 from the top): http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=400211&showall=1
It seems that drive-in owner Kieth Kiehl died from cancer-related causes on December 19, 2012, as the website for the theater is his obituary.
Two Facebook pages for the drive-in, one fan-based and the other with now-former employees, all confirm that the 2012 season was their last. Plans for “re-development” of the property are underway. http://www.auburn-reporter.com/news/174681231.html
The marquee, mentioning Kiehl’s passing: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151142288466990&set=o.43760443478&type=1&theater
Opened in May 1935, closed in 1973
A scan of a newspaper clipping for “The Romance Of Tarzan”, presented in Hawaiian: http://nupepa-hawaii.com/2012/07/22/tarzan-ad-1919/
Update: it is now a tattoo shop.
A photo I found of the Bijou: http://i48.tinypic.com/29x8yt3.jpg
The Liberty/Ye Liberty was where the parking lot is today, across from the old Empress. The Google Map image highlights the Empress.
I went to the Liberty in 1979 or 1980 when it was close to falling apart, but I had seen a kung fu movie there.
Apparently this was the Oahu Theater as well (one of two different theaters called the Oahu), and ended up becoming the Rex.
A blog entry featuring a 1912 newspaper clipping for the silent film, “Martin Chuzzlewit”, showing at the Empire: http://100yearoldmovies.wordpress.com/2012/12/19/martin-chuzzlewit-edison/
A photo of the Palace from the Aloha-Hawaii blog: http://www.aloha-hawaii.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/honolulu-on-stage.jpg
Kiionioni Place and Loop are named after the Hawaiian phrase for “moving picture”, in honor of the Wai'alae Drive-In that was there.
Another photo of the theater, taken in 2007: http://www.flickr.com/photos/iadl/3161722215/
Great photo, with Puowaina (or Punchbowl) in the background
Before Fox, this place was known as the Cameo Theatre.
Capacity for this drive-in was 425.
Capacity for the Renfro was 500, according to the Motion Picture and Television Almanac.
An archived Geocities page, featuring photos of the area after the demolition of the drive-in: http://www.reocities.com/Hollywood/Pavillion/2216/MotorVu.html
A Geocities archived page showing photos of the remains of what was the Renfro, from 2000: http://www.oocities.org/hollywood/Pavillion/2216/Renfro.html
Two photos of the Liberty Theater, from 1917:
A blog entry featuring two photos of the Plaza Cinema Twin: http://wallawalladrazanphotos.blogspot.com/2012/09/plaza-shopping-center-begins.html
A blog entry with a few photos of what was left of the drive-in, and one shot of the demolished screen tower. Courtesy Steve Swanson: http://www.freewebs.com/travelswithsteve/apps/blog/show/prev?from_id=717563
A website showing photos of the drive-in, taken from 2005 to after its close in 2010, where it looks like they were about to clear out the drive-in in order to make way for the medical center. http://www.waymarking.com/gallery/default.aspx?f=1&guid=ee3e173a-6fa7-4fc6-9c2b-bcfc24097608&gid=2
A newspaper clipping from the May 5, 1939 edition of the Condon Globe-Times: http://i48.tinypic.com/rbczkw.jpg
Here’s a photo of Chenoweth Loop in The Dalles, featuring the drive-in in the center of the photograph: