Liberty Theatre

Franklin, KY 42134

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Liberty Theatre

The 1950 Film Daily Year Book included two theatres for Franklin - the Roxy Theatre and the smaller Liberty Theatre (350 seats).

The Liberty Theatre advertised, alongside the Franklin Drive-In, in the 1951 Franklin-Simpson High School yearbook, the Wildcat.

Contributed by Michael Kilgore

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 16, 2024 at 6:25 pm

The Liberty was one of three houses listed at Franklin in the 1926 FDY, and the only one listed in all capital letters, indicating that it ran first run movies (the Lincoln and the Victor were the names of the other two.) A Liberty Theatre, but possibly not the same one, was in operation at Franklin by 1922, when manager M. K. Harris had a capsule movie review published in the October 7 issue of Moving Picture World. The only house listed at Franklin in the 1914-1915 American Motion Picture Directory was called the Crystal. A May, 1913 Sanborn Map shows the Crystal Theatre on Main Street, on the east side of the town square. One local source says the Crystal was gone by 1918, and its building was demolished long ago.

This page about buildings on the west side of Franklin’s square (College Street) indicates that the Liberty Theatre occupied two different locations over the years. The building the first Liberty occupied was built in 1908 on the west side of the square, and later became known as the Hughes Hardware Building. The year the theater opened is not mentioned, but no motion picture theaters appear on the west side of the square on the May 1913 Sanborn map of Franklin, so it had to have been after that month. This house later became the Victor Theater, which had closed by 1933. As the Liberty and Victor are both listed in 1926, the second Liberty had to have been opened prior to that year. The first Liberty/Victor Theatre building was destroyed by a fire in 1988.

The June 25, 1949 Boxoffice reported that G. C. and T. H. Jones, owners of the Liberty Theatre, had a new drive-in theater under construction on Russellville Road near Franklin. An advertisement for a New Year’s Eve show at the Liberty Theatre appeared in the December 23, 1955 issue of The Franklin Favorite.

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