Crest Theater

547 W. Broadway,
Council Bluffs, IA 51503

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Liberty Theater

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Crest Theater

Opened as the Liberty Theater prior to 1922. It was still operating as the Liberty Theater in 1957. Later renamed Crest Theater, it was an adult movie theater in the 1970’s. It was closed after an arson attack on February 20, 1973. The remains of the theater were demolished in the 1980’s.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

kencmcintyre on February 19, 2007 at 6:23 am

Darn those kids:

Young Vandals Wreck Theater
Damage 95 Seats At Liberty Sunday

10/5/54 – Young vandals damaged 95 seats in the Liberty Theater during the last show Sunday night. Owner Abe Smead Monday said his theater would be closed for the Monday matinee showings while workmen make repairs. Some of the seats had coverings slashed with a knife and stuffing torn out. Others had been loosened from the floor and others had seat cushions removed from the chairs. Detectives Bernard Lund and Edward Rath are investigating.

The doorman Sunday night was apparently unaware of the damage being done during the final show, Smead said. The damage was discovered by an employee, Fred West, of 3109 W. Broadway, Monday morning. Smead said he is offering a $50 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the vandals. He estimated costs of the damage at over $100.

hopewell on March 13, 2008 at 11:06 am

In April, 1971, I ran away from Boy’s Town, Nebraska, as was my habit, and went to the Crest to see the re-release of Disney’s “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”…I sat through the picture 1-¾ times, as I just had to see the giant squid again.

kencmcintyre on June 15, 2009 at 11:08 pm

Here is a September 1948 ad from the Council Bluffs Nonpareil:

hopewell on March 23, 2011 at 10:36 am

I was in error; I saw this film at the Strand.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on January 6, 2013 at 8:50 am

A substantial Kimball pipe organ, a III/18 was installed in the Liberty Theatre (later known as the Crest) ca. 1922. It was a used organ bought from the Doric Theatre in Kansas City Missouri (q.v.) which had closed after a gas explosion.

dallasmovietheaters on January 13, 2018 at 4:18 am

The theatre was torched on February 20, 1973 ending its theatrical run just as local special interest groups were calling for the adult theatre’s ouster from the city at any cost.

DavidZornig on May 4, 2020 at 11:35 am

June 5, 1920 photo as Liberty Theatre added credit Motion Picture News. As part of the promotion of the film, the theater had a horseman ride around the city. Courtesy Ralph Goins.

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