110 Jerome Avenue,
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Architects: M. Eugene Durfee
The 480-seat Liberty Theatre is a extremely interesting, historic theatre is a extremely interesting historic Arizona mining town. It originally opened in 1918. Opening was delayed about a year due to the great flu epidemic. It ceased theatre operations about 1930 because the owner did not want to spend money for sound equipment. It is listed as (Closed) in the 1932 edition of Film Daily Yearbook.
The auditorium part became a virtual time capsule for years. The lobby and front part of the building was remodeled and leased out serving as a cafe, bar, and I believe chamber of commerce until recent years when it was remodelled again into an antique store. The Robert Morton pipe organ was not removed from the auditorium until about 1965 when it was removed and reinstalled in a Lutheran church in Phoenix.
The auditorium was apparently still usable as a theatre in the 1970’s because famed silent theatre organist Gaylord Carter brought in a electronic organ and played for silent films several times during the historic home tour days.
The current owner bought the building about two years ago and is also operating a antique store but has restored the balcony part and shows films on a sporadic basis. I am told the theatre has a extremely unique architectural design. Jerome is built on the side of a steep mountain. Patrons purchased tickets at a street level box office (balcony level) and then had to walk down a walkway to the main auditorium. I believe the main auditorium floor has been leveled and used as a store. Only the balcony has been reopened for film purposes.
I would love to hear from other members who have more information, photos, etc. of this theatre or another Jerome theatre, the Lyric/Ritz, which has its own page on Cinema Treasures.
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