Restoration gets a boost
Written by Dick Mason, The Observer March 23, 2010 02:42 pm
Liberty Theatre’s past became part of its future Saturday.
Eighty-seven seats at the La Grande Elks Lodge, which had been taken out of Liberty Theatre after it closed about 50 years ago, were moved back to the site of the old movie house Saturday morning.
“Historically they are priceless,’’ said Dale Mammen of La Grande, who is helping lead a community effort to restore the Liberty, which closed in 1959.
The leather seats are in excellent condition, so good it almost appears they had been kept in an airtight time capsule.
“Only one or two had slight damage,’’ Mammen said. “Mechanically they are intact and solid.’’
The chairs’ red leather is soft and uncracked, perhaps because they were kept out of the sun in the Elks Lodge room, the site of many ceremonies. Oil applied to the leather of some may have also helped them stay far ahead of Father Time.