303 N. Neil Street,
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The Lyric Theater opened on Wednesday, November 11, 1911. The Lyric was owned by H. H. Johnson. On May 29, 1913 the Lyric received a full scale renovation costing $1,800. Seating was increased to 400 and other modifications included larger aisles, a better ventilation system, and a larger front door to welcome theater-goers. On July 18, 1913 a full paged ad in the Champaign Daily Gazette boasted, “We have increased ventilation; you have fresh outside air to breathe every minute you are in the Lyric. You can leave your palm leaf at home- our 16 fans will be working and you will be more than comfortable”.
The Lyric’s chief rivals in town were the Orpheum, Rialto, Varsity, Illinois, and Park (New Art) theaters. The price for admission to the Lyric was 10 cents. The Lyric featured a conglomeration of films, as one ad featured movies from Pathe, Vitagraph, and Edison. There was a 2pm matinee and 7pm evening show everyday, sometimes more on the weekends.
In 1916 the Lyric was sold. The new owner continued to operate the Lyric until June 1919 when it closed for good.
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