Tyler Mayor Barbara Bass and the East Texas Symphony Orchestra Association hosted a “marquee lighting
ceremony” to mark the beginning of the renovations of the former Liberty Theatre in the heart of downtown. The event took place at Liberty Hall at 103 E. Erwin at 10:30 a.m. Friday, July 2, 2010.
The Tyler 21 Master Plan calls for Downtown Tyler to become an arts and cultural district as a strategy to spur private reinvestment and revitalization. To advance this goal, the City of Tyler purchased the former Liberty Theatre in 2008 and entered into a memorandum of understanding with the East Texas Symphony Orchestra Association (ETSOA) to lead an effort to raise the funds needed to renovate the theatre into a performing arts hall that will be a destination point for arts and culture in East Texas.
In January 2009, the Liberty capital campaign was launched with a commitment of $500,000 from the Genecov Group followed by a $100,000 pledge by KSA/Wisenbaker, Fix and Associates in July and a $250,000 donation by Brandon Steele of Ryno Corporation in September. The Women’s Symphony League of Tyler pledged $10,000 and additional large pledges and donations have been made totaling $100,000.
Also, the Give Me Liberty Seat Sale has raised $80,000 that has been added to the campaign to fund the rebirth of the theatre into a performing arts hall. The seat sale provides the opportunity for citizens to sponsor a seat with a pledge of as little as $1,000.
The architect for the renovation project is Mike Butler, AIA, and Jason Jennings of Butler Architectural Group in Tyler.