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Liberty Theatre

Photo from the Darren Snow collection
301 S Jefferson St
Mexico MO

Record #7421  
 Opened: November 1, 1920
 Closed: September 30, 1982
 Demolished: Yes (date unknown)
Capacity: 1150 seats
Architectural Style(s):
National Register:
Current Organ: none
 Also Known As:
 Previously operated by: Frisina Enterprises

Information for this tour was contributed by Darren Snow.

The Liberty opened on November 1, 1920, with "Something to Think About." The first manager was H.A. Whitney, and Charles Pigg was hired to play the $18,000 theater organ.

Notable dates in the Liberty's history include 1954, when Cinemascope was installed; October 1962, when the theater was desegregated and black patrons were no longer required to enter through a side door and sit in the balcony; and 1965, when the Frisina chain's booking of "Kitten With a Whip" raised the hackles of conservative residents.

Wayne and Virginia Robinson were the theater's final owners. They bought the Liberty as a package deal with the Little Dixie Drive-In. The Robinsons shut down the drive-in and opened the Cinema III out on the edge of town, drawing patrons away from the Liberty. Its last picture show was "Night Shift" on September 30, 1982, and it drew only a dozen customers.

The owners tried to keep the old theater useful, but an organization they loaned it to trashed the interior beyond repair. When a neighboring car dealership needed more parking space, the Robinsons were made an offer they couldn't refuse. The Liberty was demolished in November 1995.

 Photos remain the property of the Member and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the Member.

November 1995 photos from the Darren Snow collection.

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Photos from the George Cline collection.

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Last featured 3/8/2005. Last edited 4/22/2016.

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