The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

The Liberty Theater

222 East Main. Formerly the Star Theater.

    The Liberty Theatre, formerly the Star, will be opened as soon as the ban is lifted in Medford. Henry Harcke, formerly with the Star and Page theatres, is the lessee and manager. Mr. Harcke was also with the People's Amusement Company of Portland for several years as musical director and manager.
    Mr. Harcke has just returned from Portland, where he signed the lease and made his bookings with the Paramount Artcraft Service, which he says includes such artists as Mary Pickford, Doug Fairbanks, Margaret Clark, "Fatty" Arbuckle, Wm. Hart, Charles Ray, the Gish girls, Sennett comedies, etc.
    The house will be overhauled and put in up-to-date order. New machines and other equipment will arrive this week.
    This will make three motion picture houses in Medford, the same as formerly.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 15, 1918, page 6

    The Medford theaters are preparing big programs for the openings Nov. 24, after being closed for four weeks. There will be three picture houses now instead of two, the Liberty being the new one to be opened where the Star formerly was, under management of Henry Harcke. Watch for the announcements and get in line after a long rest.
"Local and Personal," Medford Sun, November 17, 1918, page 2

Medford Mail Tribune, November 21, 1918

    The new Liberty Theater will be opened Thanksgiving Day with a big matinee and under the management of Henry Harcke.
"Picture Theaters To Open Tomorrow," Medford Mail Tribune, November 22, 1918, page 6

Medford Mail Tribune, November 27, 1918

    The new Liberty Theater opens with an extraordinary program tomorrow with matinee at 2:15. The theater has been made over and put in first-class shape with new up-to-date picture machines.
    The feature picture is DeMille's Artcraft production "Can't Have Everything," with an all-star cast including Kathlyn Williams, Elliott Dexter, Theodore Roberts and others.
    The comedy will be Fatty Arbuckle's latest, "The Cook."
    Mr. Harcke, the manager, promises this will be a splendid bill and that everything will be done for the pleasure and comfort of the public.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 29, 1918, page 3

    How it is done in some picture studios is shown in "We Can't Have Everything" at the Liberty Theater tonight. This is a special Cecil B. DeMille production for Artcraft and is based upon Rupert Hughes' novel of the same name. The scenario is by his brother, Wm. C. DeMille.

    The incidents which show the inner workings of a film studio occur when a photoplay within a photoplay is enacted. The part of Kedzie, a film star, is interpreted by Wanda Hawley, and the scenes of the "movie" in the making are located in a "harem" with the accompaniment of beautiful girls, gorgeous costuming, etc.
    The story of the picture itself is concerned with the rapid life of the metropolis today, and the part of a society woman of blue blood is interpreted by stately Kathlyn Williams. Included in the cast are Sylvia Breamer, Elliott Dexter, Thurston Hall, Theodore Roberts, Tully Marshall and other notable players.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 30, 1918, page 3

Medford Mail Tribune, November 30, 1918, page 3

    The Liberty Theater, formerly the Star, as clean as a new pin, repainted, renovated and refurnished, opened last night before a crowded house with an excellent program of Paramount pictures, under the direction of Henry Harcke, lessee and manager. A decorative screen at the rear of the theater added much to the appearance of the interior, and the wall tinting and lobby decorations proved to be in excellent taste. Manager Harcke purchased two new machines of the latest type which were used last night with splendid results. The new theater will introduce a new feature which promises to be a popular one, namely bargain days every Tuesday when with admission 15 cents for adults and ten cents for children some of the best reissues of Paramount Pictures will be shown featuring many of the leading stars.
Medford Sun, December 1, 1918, page 8

    At the Liberty Theater, tomorrow and on every Tuesday will be known as Bargain Day, when many famous successes of the Paramount program will be shown. These pictures are being reissued and are to be known as the "Success Series." The first one will be Mary Pickford in "The Eagle's Mate." This is the mountain story that Mary Pickford scored such a tremendous success in a few years ago.
    Perhaps you remember the story of the girl, born of a turbulent mountain clan but reared in the peaceful valley, who finally heard the call of the blood and became an "Eagle's" mate.
    If you remember it, you'll want to see it again!
    If you haven't seen it--Goodness! What a treat you've missed!
    Last time tonight, Wallace Reid in "The Source."
Medford Mail Tribune, December 2, 1918, page 3

    Henry Harcke, manager of the Liberty Theater, will be host to the boys of the 65th and all other returned soldiers and sailors on Wednesday evening, March 5th. A splendid program is being arranged, and all the boys wearing their uniforms will be admitted free and are cordially invited to be present.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, February 26, 1919, page 2

    [The Liberty Theater has installed] two large new exhaust fans, which clear the air and cool it, adding much to the comfort of their patrons. Mr. Harcke believes in making the Liberty visitors comfortable.
"Local and Personal," Medford Sun, August 3, 1919, page 2

    Announcement was made Saturday that Mr. and Mrs. George Hunt, who are well known in the local amusement field, have taken over the Liberty Theater of Medford and the Oregon and Star theaters of Grants Pass and will conduct them in the future. The local theater was purchased of the Jensen & Von Herberg syndicate, which recently added it to the chain of theaters they operate in Portland, Seattle, and other Pacific Coast points, and the Grants Pass theaters were obtained from Mr. Wolke, who has operated them for some time past.
    The many friends of Mr. and Mrs. Hunt will welcome their return to the local amusement field after an absence of over a year. Mr. Hunt, assisted by Mrs. Hunt, was formerly manager of the Page Theater, during which time Mrs. Hunt acted as cashier, Henry Harcke, who has been manager of the Liberty for the last year and who was long connected with the music features of the Page and Liberty, will be retained by Mr. and Mrs. Hunt as either manager of the Liberty or manager of the Grants Pass houses they have taken over.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 11, 1919, page 3

    The Liberty Theatre will remain closed until the weather moderates and the train schedules are near normal again. With the storms raging in all sections of the state, films are tied up in transit and are slow in being delivered to and from the film exchanges, which is causing unlimited grief with all theatre managers.
    Mr. Hunt, manager of the Liberty and Rialto theatres, returned Sunday from Seattle, where he was making 1920 bookings and he believes, inasmuch as he has shows booked for both houses, shows will continue to arrive [and] keep the Rialto open until the train service is back to normal again.
    Following are some of the pictures coming to the Liberty: Peter B. Kyne's story, "The Valley of the Giants," featuring Wally Reid; Houdini in "The Going Game"; "John Petticoats," with Wm. S. Hart; "Misleading Widow," with Billie Burke; "Why Smith Left Home" with Bryant Washburn; "Widow by Proxy," with Marguerite Clark, and "Egg Crate Wallop" with Chas. Ray.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 16, 1919, page 4

    The Liberty Theater management gave a free matinee to the kiddies today. "Jiggs in Society," humanized from Geo. McManus' famous cartoons, is the attraction. This is the first local showing of [the] "Bringing Up Father" series of comedies, and it would seem from the rooting the youngsters did for Jiggs that he is now an established event in Medford.

"Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, August 4, 1920, page 8

Medford Sun, December 26, 1920

Some time after its last ad, above, the Liberty quietly closed its doors.

    The work of tearing out the front and floor of the old Liberty or Star theater, which was begun yesterday, gave rise to a false rumor that a new theater was going to be built in that location. The lease on this structure is held by the George A. Hunt Theater Company and has seven years yet to run.
    R. F. Antle states that a new front is being installed and a new level flooring laid to replace the old slanting floor, and the old theater room otherwise improved to be used as a store room, for which a number of applications have already been made, to house a retail business.
    These improvements will be welcomed generally in the business district, especially in the tearing out of the old rather dilapidated-looking lobby front and replacing it with a modern store front, as the structure has lain idle for years past except now and then being temporarily occupied as a huckster or similar stand.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 25, 1924, page 5

Last revised March 20, 2022