Search: Select Location Type:  
General Info
Home
Latest Info Updates
Advanced Search
Image Search
Site Statistics
About Us
Advertise Here
Support This Site
Contact Us
Press Clippings
Submit New Info
Resources
Links
Multimedia
Video Clips
Audio Clips
Drive-In Theaters
Drive-Ins by County
Open Drive-Ins
Drive-In History
Latest Drive-In Photos
Ohio Drive-In Theaters
Digital Restorations
Indoor Theaters
Theaters by County
Latest Theater Photos
Old Theaters
Old Theater Ads
Opera Houses
Movie Palaces
Amusement Parks
Amusement Parks
Latest Photos
Fairs
Fun Parks
Auto Racing
Motor Speedways
Latest Speedway Photos
Drag Racing
Latest Drag Strip Photos
John G's Dragstrip Pics
Cars and Drivers
Boats
Hydroplane Racing
Ships
Gas, Food and Lodging
Restaurants
Gas Stations
Motels
Tourist Cabins
Hotels
Cities and Towns
Schools
Vintage Detroit
Aerial Views
Ghost Towns
Train Depots
Post Offices
Downtown Views
Old Towns
Airports
Ballrooms
Interesting Architecture
Retail
Old Line Stores
Shopping Centers
Wonderland Mall
Car Dealers
Venues
Landmarks
Military
Industrial
Recreation and Sports
Lakes
Lighthouses
Campgrounds
Beaches
Resorts
Ski Resorts
Bowling Alleys
Golf
Roadside Michigan
Old Tourism Ads
Tourist Traps
Vintage Signs
Googie Architecture

Liberty Theatre


Address: 212 East Main Street
City: Benton Harbor State: MI Zip: Phone:  
County: Berrien
Notes:
View on Google Maps  
Open: 1922 Closed: 1975 Capacity:  
Owner: Butterfield Theatres
Number of visits to this page since Sept 2013: 10692
 
 

12/22/2007 - Loretta Fuller
A few years back I was reading a biography of Groucho Marx. It said that the Marx Brothers performed at a theater in Benton Harbor, Michigan. I wonder if it could have been the Liberty Theater.
1/10/2006 - Barbara Pence
My grandfather, Elwyn M. Simons was the manager of this theatre as well as the Caldwell. His wife was Mildred Simons. His son, my father Elwyn C. Simons did the art work for the newspaper ads.

9/11/2004 - Joseph Barron
The roof collapsed before the city got around to restoring the Liberty. It has since been razed.
2/9/2004 - Erin Dorbin
This theater was gone by 2001 when I went with my camera searching for it. I spoke with a business owner in the area and she showed me pieces that they had salvaged from the demolition as well as the lot where it once stood.
2/13/2003 - Michigans Historic Sites Online
The Liberty Theater is a rectangular, two-story, flat-roof, brick commercial structure whose Sullivanesque front facade displays white terra cotta ornamentation of historical inspiration. The central portion of the facade projects forward slightly and its stepped parapet holds a central cartouche enframed by festoons above a main cornice with garland frieze that caps the second story. The second story contains five, square-head windows. Terra cotta medallions of identical design decorate the wall surfaces beside the windows and the parapet at either end of the festoon band. A lintel below the windows is supported on decorative consoles.

The wall surface to either side of the facades projecting central area is treated as a panel. Each panel displays a centrally positioned ornamental cluster with cartouche and festoons, and, below, a medallion identical in design to those at second-story and parapet levels. The facades renovated street level has a Moderne treatment, including enamelled metal panels on the V-shaped marquee. The theater interior with its arched ceiling displays elaborate plaster work which is now deteriorated due to water infiltration.

The Liberty Theater has historical significance as Benton Harbors largest movie palace and as the site of movie patronage for over fifty years. Completed in February 1922, the Liberty was constructed by the Blair McElroy and Kenneth Fitzpatrick theater syndicate. A little less than seven years later, the Liberty Theater, now owned by the Walter Scott Butterfield theater chain, hosted the first sound film viewed in Benton Harbor. After over half a century of patronage, and with the opening of multi-screen theaters, the Liberty Theater closed in 1975.

The city purchased the building in 1989. While the theater remains vacant, the city of Benton Harbor hopes historic designation will lead to financial assistance from the public and the private sector to restore and to rehabilitate the former movie palace.
Liberty Theatre - PARADE PIC FROM VERONICA
PARADE PIC FROM VERONICA
Liberty Theatre - OLD SHOT
OLD SHOT
Liberty Theatre - UPDATED MARQUEE
UPDATED MARQUEE
Liberty Theatre - OLD PIC FROM KARA TILOTSON
OLD PIC FROM KARA TILOTSON
Liberty Theatre - OLD GUEST TICKET
OLD GUEST TICKET

© 2020 Water Winter Wonderland. All rights reserved.  Over  47,757,583  Served