|Fred Meyer at 148 Liberty St NE,|
undated but no earlier than 1938
(Salem Library Historic Photos)
Here's an annotated clip from the 1926 Sanborn Fire Map for the half block on the east side of Liberty Street between State and Court. In the upper left is the newly restored McGilchrist and Roth block. The Book Bin's building is on the right. The old Fred Meyer is addressed on it as 140 N. Liberty, but today we use 148 Liberty NE.
|1926 Sanborn Fire Map|
(Comments in red added)
There is an announcement in September of 1908 for a new building and opening of "Ye Liberty" Theater.
|Opening Announcement, September 9th, 1908|
Shortly thereafter, in 1910, notice about a business in the Roth building next door confirms the location of Ye Liberty Theater.
|Location next to Roth building, November 14th, 1910|
In any case, they were still showing movies there into the 1920s.
|140 N. Liberty was a theater in 1921|
(Statesman, December 28th, 1921)
|The Breyman block of 1874,|
also known as the "White Corner," photo from 1938
Salem Library Historic Photos
As you can see from the photo, which seems securely dated from 1938, the exterior facade was still intact.
But in 1932 there was a terrible fire.
|March 24th, 1932|
After the fire, Fred Meyer, "manager of Byrnes, Inc." took out a lease for the "old telephone building," which you can see on the Sanborn map as the "telegraph" office.
|Move from Breyman|
to 170 N. Liberty
(Capital Journal, April 7th, 1932)
|Byrnes to become Fred Meyer|
(Statesman, April 20th, 1932)
|Fred Meyer announcement|
for 170 N. Liberty
(Statesman, April 24th, 1932)
After a few years, in 1938 there is a "close out" sale for the Metropolitan Store at 148 N. Liberty just down the street.
|Metropolitan vacates 148 N. Liberty|
(Statesman, June 24th, 1938)
So we can date our photo at top to no earlier than 1938!
|Using 140 N. Liberty rather than 148 N. Liberty|
(Statesman, April 3rd, 1951)
|That's it! That's all they wrote in for the Historic District|
Here we go. There's a "Remember when" Salem nostalgia facebook group, and one of its members posted an uncredited scan from a picture book or something. They identified it as from 1918.
|Liberty Theater with Roth building on right, 1918|
(Oregon State Library)
|Pershing's Crusaders played August 8, 9, and 10 in 1918|
(August 5th, 1918)
Demolition for 245 Court
|Demolition of the old Safeway at 245 Court|
(For more on the Safeway history see here. And more on the 245 Court redevelopment.)
Update, August 6th, 2018
Yesterday in the Sunday paper there was a history column about the theater!
obscene, indecent or immoral, or which are reasonably likely to provoke a breach of the peace, or to incite a riot, or to arouse the indignation or resentment of, or which is obnoxious or offensive to any of the loyal and patriotic citizens of the City.That goes with the 1918 ban on street carnivals.
Update, January 4th, 2019
In a piece on the 50th anniversary of an employee, the SJ says:
The company, after a 12-year absence in town, opened supercenters on Commercial Street SE and Broadway Street NE the same November day in 1968.But a companion video piece misidentifies the 148/140 Liberty St storefront at the first 170 Liberty St one.
A downtown Fred Meyer, on Liberty Street NE across from the Reed Opera House, closed in 1956 when it ran out of room for expansion.
|This address and caption is wrong|
Addendum, March 30th, 2022
Here's a note on the end of the run as a movie theater, and the conversion to retail.
|Turn to retail, July 5th and Sept. 11th, 1925|