Liberty Theater (Astoria, Oregon)

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Astor Building
Photograph of the Astor Building, a two-story commercial building with an intricate theater entrance facing onto a city street corner
The Astor Building in 2011
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Location1203 Commercial Street
Astoria, Oregon
Coordinates46°11′19″N 123°49′48″W / 46.188667°N 123.829883°W / 46.188667; -123.829883Coordinates: 46°11′19″N 123°49′48″W / 46.188667°N 123.829883°W / 46.188667; -123.829883
Area0.21 acres (0.085 ha)[1]
ArchitectBennes and Herzog
ArtistJoseph Knowles (painter)
Architectural styleItalian Renaissance
Part ofAstoria Downtown Historic District[2] (#98000631)
NRHP reference #84002938
Added to NRHPSeptember 7, 1984

The Liberty Theater is a historic vaudeville theater and cinema in Astoria, Oregon, United States. The whole commercial building of which the theater is the major occupant is also known as the Astor Building, especially in the context of historic preservation.


Opened in 1925 as the first theater to be re-established after the destruction of the Astoria fire of 1922, the Liberty Theater was seen as symbolizing the city's rebirth. Its Italian Renaissance architectural and decorative style was unique among Astoria's commercial buildings and stood out from the rest of the post-fire reconstruction. Notably, the auditorium features a set of 12 mural-style oil-on-canvas paintings depicting Venetian canal scenes by local artist Joseph Knowles, extending the Mediterranean atmosphere of the architecture. The building was built for the theater chain of Claude Jensen and John von Herberg, one of over thirty venues they operated throughout the Pacific Northwest, and was designed by the Portland architectural firm of Bennes and Herzog.[a][1]

The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984 using the Astor Building name.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Multiple other theaters were built through the same owner-architect association, including the Hollywood Theatre (1926) and Bagdad Theatre (1927) in Portland. Both Portland theaters are also listed on the National Register.


  1. ^ a b Goodenberger, John; Steinmann, Robert (December 12, 1983), National Register of Historic Places Inventory — Nomination Form: Astor Building (PDF), retrieved January 19, 2017.
  2. ^ Goodenberger, John E. (August 19, 1997), National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: Astoria Downtown Historic District (PDF), retrieved October 14, 2015.
  3. ^ National Park Service (September 21, 1984), Weekly announcement of National Register of Historic Places actions (PDF), p. 134, retrieved January 19, 2017.

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