Liberty Theatre

67 S. Market Street,
San Jose, CA

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Elisabet on August 4, 2011 at 1:43 am

I loved this place! We used to go with my grandfather to see all the cinema classics of Mexico’s Golden Age – Cantinflas, Pedro Infante, Maria Felix, Mil Mascaras, El Santo. It was thrilling! We’d pack a steamy bag of burritos and pile into my Papa’s Rambler. We’d sit in thread-bare theatre seats and eat stale popcorn. The restrooms always smelt of stale urine and they had those pink perfumatic despensers. I’d always beg my mom to let me spray some :) The lady who worked the ticket booth took ballet with my sister and I at San Jose Ballet School. She wore wrestlers lace up shoes instead of ballet slippers. She sported a huge bee-hive and thick eyeliner. Beautiful and mysterious…ah, memories!

William on November 13, 2003 at 10:36 pm

The Liberty Theatre was located at 67 S. Market Street.

tomdelay on December 8, 2002 at 2:41 am

The Liberty Theatre had a large Robert-Morton pipe organ which must have had a memorable impact in this 1100 seat theatre. The organ was built in late 1921 and installed in 1922. The organ contained 3 manuals and 20 ranks of pipes distributed in three pipe chambers. There was a grand piano in the orchestra pit that also played from the organ console. Both the piano and organ console were on hydraulic lifts. When the Liberty was demolished in 1983, the old organ lift was uncovered, still in place.

The Robert Morton organ was purchased in 1941 by Grace Baptist Church in San Jose where it remains. The church totally rebuilt the organ in 1984 after much damage by earlier organ enthusiasts and “professional” organ service people.

As it did in the Liberty, the organ still has a remarkable impact in the church. It is the only original theatre organ to San Jose still in the city.