Liberty Theater

1121 Elizabeth Avenue,
Elizabeth, NJ 07201

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chochi73 on April 26, 2011 at 6:53 pm

After over three weeks of fliers circulating around town and at school. Many of us couldn’t wait for that party. That night I kinda changed my mind about going but two of my friend asked if I would at least drop them off which I did. We didn’t hear about the tragedy until the next morning when my two friends called to give me the details. Unlike Joe’s previous story my friends told me that it all started when two groups, I say groups cause officially gangs really were not the fad back then.
One of the of the rivals saw someone he had a problem with and acted on it by fling a chair to the person who was either down on the dance floor or up on the second floor balcony. This started a fight which made everyone panic. Since like Joe’s story the back door was locked and no other Exit signs where visible. Everyone tried to get out the same-way the got in, which was a narrow, straight, double flight, two person, side stairwell which lead directly to the second floor. This type of stairwell made it impossible for someone to regain their balance if they would slip be someone pushing them. All of these circumstance lead to the death of those young people that night who were trampled and suffocated by the panic people tiring to get out. I thought my two cents would be appropriate seeing that I could not find anything on this tragedy which did leave scars on many kids that night along with mine.


spectrum on December 4, 2010 at 8:00 pm

The article has a great interior photograph – it has been nicely renovated; the color scheme is white with gold trim. Nice job!

teecee on November 22, 2009 at 9:00 am

This theater has been restored and is now home to 2 church congregations: (a different photo is in my print version of today’s Star Ledger)

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markp on February 6, 2008 at 9:11 pm

As of early 2008, theatre is being converted into either a church, or a community center.

teecee on March 2, 2006 at 4:02 am

Listed as part of Skouras Theatres Corp. in the 1961 Film Daily Yearbook.

teecee on March 2, 2006 at 3:09 am

Listed as a UA Theater in the 1970 Film Daily Yearbook.

teecee on March 2, 2006 at 12:11 am

Listed as a single screen independent theatre in the 1991 International Motion Picture Almanac. Owner is E. Bravo.

moviesmovies on July 13, 2005 at 5:58 am

saw ‘Dr. Zhivago’, ‘Funny Girl’ ‘Last Summer’ ‘'The Stewardesses’ (in 3D), ‘Cry Uncle’, and ‘No Way To Treat A Lady’ here.

teecee on July 5, 2005 at 3:31 am

A Moller organ, opus 2572, was installed in Fox’s Liberty Theater in 1918.

RobertR on June 19, 2005 at 5:44 pm

In the 70’s this was advertised as the UA Liberty.

teecee on March 21, 2005 at 7:43 pm

Built in 1913 as Gordon’s Hippodrome, a vaudeville theater, it soon became one of the top movie houses in the city. The theater was one of the last big screens standing when the multiplexes arrived, but it was eventually subdivided and turned into a four-screen X-rated movie house. The final blow to its reputation was the death of four young people during a party in the unlicensed nightclub, El Balcon, on the second floor in 1994. Now, the Elizabeth Avenue building is undergoing an extensive renovation. The Christ Fellowship, an independent church with services in Portuguese, Spanish and English, expects to open the Liberty Center there by the middle of next year. The church will turn the theater into a community center, where religious services as well as live performances and movie screenings at discount prices will take place. Star Ledger 12/28/03

joemasher on March 20, 2005 at 4:15 pm

I don’t believe the Liberty was ever 4-screens. It was a triplex, 2 down and 1 in the balcony, when it closed. In the commercial space on the second and third floors, a nightclub operated. One fateful night a fire broke out, and an employee had chained off some exit doors. Several people lost their lives, and the Liberty was damaged by smoke and water. The theater did not reopen afterward. It was gutted for retail, with the marquee still hanging about 5 years ago. On my last drive through Elizabeth, the building was still empty (about a year ago).