Liberty County History

An occasional gathering place for articles, documents, photographs, records and other ephemera dealing with the history of Liberty County, Texas.


Kevin Ladd is director of the Wallisville Heritage Park at Wallisville, Chambers County, TX and lives in Hardin, TX. He is chairman of the Liberty County Historical Commission and writes for "Texas Illustrated," a monthly publication of the Liberty Gazette newspaper, which is devoted to local history and folklore.

Monday, July 17, 2006

The People's Airdome (1915)

Liberty's new mayor, Carl Pickett, held an informal event on Sam Houston Plaza on Sunday, July 2, 2006. It was a movie night in downtown and was open to anyone. In addition to watching a movie, the crowd was treated to hot dogs and all the traditional trimmings or condiments (whatever you prefer calling them). There was a popcorn machine. The trees provided the children with some shade as the sun sank slowly in the west. It was a good event and will be repeated every month now for some time to come, but it was not -- if the truth be known -- the first time people from Liberty and the surrounding area gathered out in the great wide open spaces of downtown to watch a movie. The following articles from "The Liberty Vindicator" will tell the unique story of "The People's Airdome."

Liberty Vindicator
Friday, April 16, 1915

Picture Show for Liberty
Last week A. M. Thomas and associates of Sour Lake came over to Liberty for the purpose of establishing a permanent up-to-date moving picture show here. There being no vacant building up town and an objection being raised by the insurance agents to the show being established at city hall, a lease was secured on the vacant lot just east of Steusoff’s Pharmacy a suitable building will be erected thereon immediately.
In order to afford immediate amusement an air-dome is being erected and same will probably be ready for the first show Saturday night. The show will be first class in every respect – comfortable chairs, electric piano and a machine that can’t be beaten.

Liberty Vindicator
Friday, April 23, 1915

The People’s Theatre gave its first attraction Saturday night. The show was complimentary – absolutely free – and the place was filled. Monday night the show was formerly [formally?] opened and although the weather was unfavorable, the attendance was good.
The show will be open every night, except Sunday, at 8 o’clock, and the management promises to afford the best line of attractions the market can give.

Liberty Vindicator
Friday, April 30, 1915

Million Dollar Mystery – People’s Airdome every Saturday night.
Trey of Hearts – People’s Airdome every Wednesday night.
4 Reels Quality Motion Pictures – People’s Airdome every night.

Liberty Vindicator
Friday, June 4, 1915

The Airdome.
To-night the Airdome offers the greatest comedy ever produced in that rip-roaring reel feature, “Tillie’s Punctured Romance,” festering the world’s famous comedy stars, Marie Dresser, Mabel Normand,, Charles Chaplain [sic], Fatty Arbuckle and Chester Conklin. On account of the length of this picture, the show will start promptly at 8:15. Be sure and bring a towel with you as you will laugh till you cry.

Note from Kevin Ladd: There's obviously many more chapters to be written in the movie house history of Liberty County, but this is the proper starting place.


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