LIBERTY THEATRE REDEVELOPMENT
The Liberty Theatre building is located on 4th Avenue downtown, between Pierce and Buchanan. This building and a building adjacent to it are the only surviving structures on this block, which is entirely owned by the City of Amarillo. The Liberty Theatre is the oldest surviving theater in Amarillo. It was built in 1921, and is more significant because it endures while so much of the streetscape of its era has disappeared. The building adjacent to the theater was constructed later, around 1950, and is important to the usability of the theater as it provides space for administrative offices, bathrooms, storage and reception area.
The Liberty also represents a prominent cultural legacy as the city's last surviving segregated theater. Some of those who grew up in Amarillo may remember having to sit in the balcony while the main floor was reserved for "Whites Only."
There is a strong case for this building's revival as a theater and performance space. Its intimate scale would provide an invaluable resource for the arts community as well as a beloved destination in downtown Amarillo. The theatre could be restored to be a flexible space for performances, meetings, recitals and other events. It would be available to the public to lease.
High Plains Public Radio would utilize space in the adjacent building for their administrative offices and broadcasting studio. This would be HPPR's home office in Amarillo. To view a booklet on this redevelopment project, click here.
Although the building will need an entirely new roof, and both buildings are in need of significant renovation, the theatre is structurally sound. A structural engineer report states, "... this building is structurally sound. the walls are in very good condition, and the foundation has performed well for approximately 80 years."
A Liberty Theatre Committee has been formed and is working to raise the $1 million needed to bring the two buildings back to life downtown.
Downtown Amarillo, Inc. is partnering with the City of Amarillo to explore the possibility of a downtown park on the remainder of the block. The park could be used for events such as film festivals, concerts and other events that would draw thousands to this remarkable space.
To donate to the Liberty Theatre redevelopment,