Several years ago, some local folks took it upon themselves to save and renovate the old Tower Theater in Bend. It is now an anchor of performing arts in the region.
Well, some folks in northeastern Oregon have a similar project gaining steam — the Liberty Theatre renovation in La Grande.
In its heyday, the Liberty Theatre was the entertainment hot spot in northeastern Oregon.
In 1930, it was renovated in the art deco style of that era and renamed The Liberty Theatre. It operated as a movie house and performing arts venue up until 1959 when it closed its doors.
For years it housed a number of different businesses — an auto parts store, a book store, a pizza joint. False floors and a lower ceiling were installed. It no longer looked like a theater and, in fact, many locals didn’t even know of its past glory.
That is until a foundation was formed in 2012 to renovate the place. Fundraising began in earnest. Demolition of the guts of the theater began in 2018 and uncovered the grandeur the building once held.
With a 112-year-old building, they have historical guidelines they must adhere to. But when it comes to technology, anything goes. So, what kinds of entertainment will the new Liberty Theatre offer to northeastern Oregon when the doors open?
There is not set opening date, but it’s expected to come soon. If you’re planning a trip to the La Grande – Baker City area in the near future, check the Liberty Theatre website to see if you take in a performance of some kind.