With fresh equipment, a dedicated staff, and a newly renovated building, it’s curtains up at Liberty Hall with an assortment of live music, comedic groups, and favorite old movies.
Located in downtown Tyler, Liberty Hall was closed until the completion of its recent renovation this last September. The renovation cost over $1 million dollars but that was not paid for from the citizens’ pockets.
“The city, with Mayor Barbara Bass, the city council, and the ESCO [East Texas Symphony Orchestra] all worked really hard to raise the money from private funding,” Theatre Manager Anne Payne said, “it’s not a tax dollar business. It wasn’t renovated with the citizens’ money from taxes or anything like that. It was a really huge gift that the people that did give, gave to Tyler.”
A lot of buzz is surrounding this theatre that viewers seem to feel is a more personal experience than a trip to Carmike.
With the lack of previews and the general love from the crowd towards classic films, Liberty Hall gives the viewer the feeling that they’ve entered a wealthy friend’s home who owns their own theatre to watch a favorite film rather than a trip to the bigger, more crowded movie theatre.
Tyler local and viewer Brittany Folden [leaving a showing of Grease] said “everyone gets into it, singing and clapping, it’s the community feeling of it. It’s definitely more one on one. You get a different group here I think, especially the cult movies with cult followings. You get the hardcore fans here.”
Liberty Hall has that new car smell that everyone loves as soon as the viewer walks through the doors. With an impressive sound system, crisp image projector, and comfortable clean seats, watching a movie at Liberty Hall is watching the classics in style. Before the start of the movie, Payne comes out and thanks everyone for coming out and welcomes him or her to the theatre. As soon as the lights dim, the neon blue lights around the screen fade and the crowd hushes in anticipation to watch a favorite film, or maybe one not seen before by the viewer.
Interestingly enough Liberty Hall was originally renovated for musical numbers and other live performances before the idea was proposed to play classic films.
“The movies kind of just came as an option because we had a screen and a projector that were purchased as part of the whole project and ‘hey, wouldn’t it be great to show old movies?’ And people have really loved that,” said Payne.
With multitudes of different events and different kinds of films, diverse and various crowds show up to each performance.
“I think my favorite thing about being here is the fact every event we have here brings in a different crowd,” said usher Roxanne Apolskis.
Tyler Junior College students are welcome and invited to come and see what’s going on in downtown.
“The young people at TJC are extremely important to the growth of art and entertainment in downtown Tyler. We want them to know about it, and we want them to be excited, and we want them to come down here and support us,” said Payne.
Payne recommends purchasing tickets ahead of time, which can be done on the Liberty Hall website at libertytyler.com. Tickets can or also be purchased 30 minutes prior to any showing at the box office. Movie tickets are $7, while tickets for live showings are $20-30. Canned sodas are $1 and candy is $2.
For event schedules see the Liberty Hall website. One can also log on to Facebook and add suggestions for upcoming flicks at facebook.com/libertyhalltyler.