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Liberty Theatre Now Up for Sale
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Saturday, April 1, 2023
 

STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

The Liberty Theatre is now on the market.

The Sun Valley Museum of Art listed the 85-year-old Hailey theater with Paul Kenny and Matt Bogue Commercial Real Estate on Thursday. The asking price: $195,000.

“As the Sun Valley Museum of Arts no longer operates a theater company, it is not fiscally responsible for the Museum to maintain its ownership of the building given the upgrades necessary for its safe operation,” the board of directors said in a prepared statement.

The Museum was given the building by actor Bruce Willis after The Museum merged with Company of Fools, which made the theater its home for more than two decades. During the pandemic the merger was dissolved and Company of Fools disbanded.

In 2021 the Museum offered to give the building to The Liberty Theatre Company, which had been formed in the wake of Company of Fools’ dissolution. The company raised enough money for repairs after a year and half of fundraising but elected to walk away from the offer earlier this year after it couldn’t raise the $500,000 it had hoped to raise for an endowment fund for ongoing maintenance.

The building, which offered Wood River Valley residents their first opportunity to see “Gone with the Wind” in 1939, has structural problems that need to be addressed before it can be reopened to the public. The Liberty Theatre Company had also hoped to use the $1.7 million it was trying to raise to install a state-of-the-art HVAC system.

The Museum also offered the building to the City of Hailey and discussed possible solutions for the deco theater with local nonprofits. The building seats 212 people and had been a community gathering place until it was shuttered.

“It’s hoped a buyer will breathe new life into the theater,” directors said.

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