Cooper Cinerama Theatre
19 N. Robinson Avenue,
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On February 1, 1916, Paramount Pictures Inc. opened their modish Craftsman/Mission style Liberty Theatre, complete with a billiard parlour on the spacious mezzanine. A new innovation resurlted in supurb picture quality – the projection booth was located on the ground floor.
When Paramount almost went bankrupt in the mid-1930’s, Warner Bros. took this opportunity to seize control of the 1,700-seat Liberty Theatre, which was on the same block as their Warner Theatre & Midwest Theatres.
Ownership again changed to Cooper Foundation Theaters Inc. in the late-1940’s, and the original facade and lobby were razed to make wasy for a sleek new look. The auditorium was also modernised, all to the plans of architect’s Boller & Lusk, with decorations by interior decorator Hanns Teichert. At this time it was renamed Harber Theatre.
Cinerama equipment was installed around 1953, half of the balcony was blocked off to reduce seating capacity down to 1,100.
Thoughout its long life, this movie palace remained profitable, until know-it-all Urban Renewal said the old downtown movie theatre had to come down in the mid-1970’s…..and it closed September 2, 1975, and was razed in 1976.
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