Lyric Theatre, which is another beautiful structure formerly built and operated as a vaudeville theatre in the city of Birmingham. It is located at the corner of Third Avenue and Eighteen street Birmingham, Alabama. Lyric Theatre was the last theatre built solely for live performances.
About Lyric Theatre
The lyric theater was built in the year 1914. It was structured to operate as a vaudeville theater. The lyric theater saw top stars like Will Rogers and the Marx brothers come to perform live. Initially, when it was constructed in 1914, Lyric theatre had 1583 seats. The lyric theater had 12 separate exit doors, 55 fly lines, and one of the most complete light dimming systems In the South then. It also had a local air conditioning system made by using two tons of ice under the stage and fans blowing the air from the ice over to the audience. The Lyric Theater had a segregated sitting arrangement. African Americans were only allowed to sit at the upper balcony which had its exit. Lyric Theatre had six Opera boxes on each side of the proscenium; the six Opera boxes were removed when the theater was equipped for cinemascope in 1954. But after a lot of challenges and changes of management, in March 2014 $8million was approved for the renovation of the theater. The Opera boxes which were formerly removed were reinstated. The seats in the theater were also reduced from 1583 seats to 750. The upper balcony which used to be the only place allocated for African Americans was no more in use. On January 14, 2016, the Lyric theater was reopened, and live music and concert venue.
After 107 years(2021)
The Lyric Theatre is glowing with historic charm, decorated with elegant plaster cupids, burnished woods, shimmering gold paint, and smooth marbles. The 750 seats are still maintained as it was when it was reopened on January 14, 2016, with 12 opera boxes and a comfortable 60 feet from the stage to the back of the balcony. The Lyric theater is sitting in an architectural resemblance of a bell of a trumpet, to allow the acoustic power of the Lyric to captivate every audience. It was designed with live performances, entertainment in mind. The Lyric Theater will embrace the best symphonies, concerts, theater production, and live performances in the south.
The lyric theater spent decades in downtown Birmingham as a dark and crumbling ruin, but today it is still listed on the national register of historic places.
See the next in this series: Negro Southern League Museum
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