27 East Main Street,
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The Liberty Theatre can be traced back to the early-1920’s in Ogden newspapers. A 1936 article noted improvements to the building by the owner, B.F. Winzler. The upgrades included a 10-feet widening of the building and excavations for a slanted floor.
In March of 1949, A.C. Toland, age 48, its then owner, was killed in a private plane crash near Lewiston, Idaho along with his son, age 23, who was piloting the small craft. The Tolands, who moved to Tremonton in 1944, were evidently well known in Utah and the crash story was covered extensively by all of the major newspapers.
Pearl Toland, his widow, took over management of the theater and remodeled it in October of 1949 at a cost of $16,000. This modernization included new seats, drapes, and rugs. Technical improvements included a new screen, lighting system, and a fireproof booth. The foyer and ticket office were changed and metallic tile was added to the building’s facade.
In early January of 1958 Otto Jorgensen, who ran theaters in Garland and Brigham City, took a lease on the theatre from Mrs. Toland. On January 25, 1958, the Liberty Theatre was newly remodeled and ready to open when it was swept by a blaze. The Salt Lake Tribune said the $30,000 fire was discovered at 5:40 am by two residents and took 7-12 hours to contain. The end result was that three walls fell by themselves and the fire department knocked down the fourth wall. A building on one side was destroyed but J.C. Penney on the other side of the building only suffered smoke damage. Authorities were looking at the furnace as the cause of the fire.
In October of 1958 plans were announced to build a supermarket on the site and local businessmen made plans to construct a new theater at another Tremonton location. The location of the Liberty Theatre was where the Movie Gallery is located in 2010, next to Northern Furniture, the former Penney’s store.
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