Fox Theatre

115 W. Sixth Street,
Leadville, CO 80461

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FOX Theatre, Leadville, Colorado.

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Liberty Bell Theatre opened January 5, 1919. On August 1, 1935, it became the Fox Theatre. It was closed in 1963 and later demolished.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 1, 2009 at 12:37 am

According to an article in Boxoffice of November 16, 1946, the Fox Theatre in Leadville had opened as the Liberty Bell Theatre on January 1, 1917, and became part of the Fox circuit on August 1, 1935.

A 1968 Boxoffice item about a new theater then being built in Leadville said that the town had been without a theater since the closing of the Fox. This item didn’t give the date the Fox closed, but I’ve found references to it being in operation as late as 1963. I’ve been unable to find out when it reopened as the Silver City Cinema.

The 1946 article said that Fox was also then operating the Elks Opera House in Leadville, a theater which had opened as the Tabor Opera House in 1879. In addition, the article said, Fox was operating a theater at Climax, Colorado, about 13 miles from Leadville. Other issues of Boxoffice indicate that this was the 200-seat Climax Theatre, opened in late 1938 or early 1937.

kpdennis on May 3, 2010 at 1:41 pm

The Fox in Leadville is on the right side of this 1942 photo of the a fire consuming buildings located between the Lake County Courthouse and the theater:
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Anthony L. Vazquez-Hernandez
Anthony L. Vazquez-Hernandez on February 23, 2016 at 12:24 am

The only two names this theatre has had is Liberty Bell Theatre and later became the Fox Theatre when it was taken over by the Fox Theatre Circuit on August 1st, 1935.

The Internarional Ammusement Company (under ownership of Henry Goodridge) purchased a lot on the northwest corner of 6th and Harrison Avenue in 1917 for $5,000. The property was occupied by a two-story frame building that was occupied by a tailor and a grocery store. The site was chosen because of the natural slope of the lot, making it perfect for a theatre. They demolished this and began construction on the theatre which opened on January 5th, 1919. Stock certificates were sold to locals prior to the opening. Leadville was chosen because of the large number of compny stockholders living in that town. It was a two-story brick structure that was 36 x 124 feet. It boasted being fireproof as well as possessing modern heating, lighting and ventilation systems. Construction was completed at the cost of $25,000.

The Liberty Bell did house the occasional stage show, such French master violinist Josef D'Harvarda for one week in March of 1919 when he performed for sold out houses each night.

The Tabor Opera House was located right across the street and also served as a movie theater from the teens through roughly the 1950s. I have heard tales about how the two venues (Tabor and Liberty Bell/Fox) often shared a projectionist who kept busy running across the street throughout the night.

Also, this theatre was NEVER damaged, demolished, closed or anything else of the sort because of fire. It did make a firefly place in history when on June 29th, 1942, theatre employees were burning trash behind the theatre & not properly supervising it causing Boytom’s Garage next door to catch fire and suffer extensive damage. The theatre refused to pay for the damage and when the garage owners sued, the judge ruled on the theatre’s favor.

The Liberty Bell/Fox closed in 1963 due to the 44 year old theatre needing extensive repairs and becoming too expensive to maintain. The Lake County Commissioners purchased the building hoping to put their offices in it but upon receiving bids discovered it would be more cost effective to build a new structure and ended up demolishing it and subsequently putting a parking on the site.

It also was NEVER known as the “New Fox”-that was a completely different venue (which did meet its fate thru an arson fire).

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