Liberty Theatre

301 S. Jefferson Street,
Mexico, MO 65265

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Frisina Amusement Company

Styles: Art Deco

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Circa 1940's photo courtesy of George Cline.

The Liberty Theatre opened on November 1, 1920. Notable dates in the history of the Liberty Theatre were: 1954 when Cinemascope was installed, 1962 when the theater was desegregated and black patrons were no longer required to enter through a side door and sit in the balcony, 1965 when the Frisina chain’s booking of “Kitten With A Whip” stirred the conservative residents.

Wayne and Virginia bought the theater as a package deal with the Little Dixie Drive-In. The Robinsons shut down the drive-in and opened the Cinema 3 out on the edge of town, drawing the patrons from the Liberty. The last movie to play at the Liberty was “Night Shift” on September 30, 1982 and only drew a handful of patrons.

The Robinsons tried to keep the theater useful, but an organization they loaned it to trashed the interior beyond repair. A car dealer needed to expand with more parking, and the Robinsons were made an offer and took it. The theater was demolished in November of 1995.

Contributed by Chuck Van Bibber

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

Bill2 on February 29, 2004 at 10:12 pm

I grew up in Mexico, and was a regular at the Liberty. I was told it was the largest theater at the time it was built between St. Louis and Kansas City. It was built by the Cassius M Clay family. During the summer in the 50’s and 60’s the schools would sell ticket books for Wednesday afternoon matinee for $.25. This was a thrill for the neighborhood kids to spend the afternoon at the movies. The last movie I saw at the Liberty was “Family Plot” by Alfred Hitchcock. Not sure of the year. I was extremely disappointed in the demise of the Liberty. It was a landmark in Mexico. It was located at the corner of Liberty (hence the name) and Jefferson St. Located in the same block and connected to the theater was the Hoxey Hotel. The Mexico Jaycee organization used the theater as a haunted house and it was so badly destroyed that the theater was beyond repair.

Bill2 on December 7, 2005 at 5:45 pm

There were other downtown theaters in Mexico. I remember the REX, which was located on West Promenade St. I know it was closed in the 60’s, but notsure when. I do remember seeing the marque lights light a few times. I know there was a fire there before it was torn down to make a parking lot. If anyone has pictures of this theater or any information on it, I would like to be contacted. Thanks

gcliner on December 6, 2006 at 11:57 am

Bill – go to:; click on cinemas; click on Missouri; click on the section that features Mexico; scroll down to the Rex. I submitted the photo and have the original postcard. I also have one of the Sosna which was at the SE corner of Promenade and S. Jefferson. I don’t remember it. I remember Parson’s Jewelry being there in the ‘50’s.

Hope this helps.

George Cline

Bill2 on June 17, 2011 at 8:44 pm

I remember spending so much time here. During the summer, students could purchase tickets for .25 for Wednesday matinee shows. That was during the 60’s. So sad it is gone.

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