Liberty Theatre

1520 First Avenue,
Seattle, WA 98101

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Liberty Theatre exterior

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The Liberty Theatre opened in October 1914, the theater lasted until 1955. It has since been razed.

Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

William
William on November 18, 2003 at 6:14 pm

The Liberty Theatre seated 1600 people.

kateymac01
kateymac01 on May 21, 2005 at 6:08 am

The Liberty Theatre was built in 1914 by C.S. Jensen and John G. von Herberg; it had a capacity of 1,700.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on February 25, 2008 at 7:52 pm

Here is a blog dated 2/17/08 with some then and now photos:
http://tinyurl.com/2cp27n

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 20, 2009 at 2:02 am

The Liberty Theatre was designed by architect Henderson Ryan, with engineer Henry W. Bittman. Scans of plans, drawings, and cross sections of the Liberty can be seen at the University of Washington Library’s Digital Collections. Use the search term Liberty Theatre.

The size and elaborate decoration of the Liberty, with the fact that it was designed specifically for the exhibition of movies, having neither a fly loft nor an orchestra pit, made it one of the very first theaters that could truly be called a movie palace.

Architect Henderson Ryan also designed the Neptune Theatre in Seattle and the Whiteside Theatre in Corvallis, Oregon.

Stairstars
Stairstars on January 16, 2010 at 11:35 am

Does anyone know if the Savoy Theater was on this site before the Liberty was built? I have an old pin back button that states the Savoy Theater was at 1ST and PIKE and makes a negative comment about the Patents Trust. The Savoy Hotel was at 2nd and Pike.

Thanks.

rick

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 23, 2010 at 7:44 am

Engineer Henry Bittman, who collaborated with Henderson Ryan on the Liberty Theatre project in 1914, was licensed as an architect in 1923 and went on to design at least three Seattle theatres himself; The Embassy Theatre of 1926, the Music Box Theatre of 1928, and the Town Theatre (aka Roosevelt) of 1933. The Embassy is the only one of these three still standing.

rivest266
rivest266 on January 21, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Should be AKA United Artists

Grand opening ads from October 27th, 1914, January 14th, 1927 as United Artists and from January 2nd, 1930 as Liberty posted in the photo section.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on June 16, 2012 at 9:27 am

The Liberty also had one of the early Wurlitzer organs – built in their first year of pipe organ production. It was a 3 manual, 20 rank instrument – including a 4 rank echo division. The organ was only the 42nd instrument Wurlitzer built (out of some 2200 total). The cost was a whopping $16,500.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on August 15, 2012 at 10:27 am

Pictured in this 1916 trade ad: archive

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