Joyo Theatre

6102 Havelock Avenue,
Lincoln, NE 68507

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The New Lyric Theatre opened February 16, 1928. It was renamed Joyo Theatre on January 24, 1936. Bought in 1998 by Dwight F. Carter, this old theatre hosts a variety of events; including movies (both old and new), live bands, birthday parties, school matinees, Nebraska Cornhusker football games, church services, and live play performances.

Local residents Dwight Carter, Jim Salber, Kendra Oliver, Dave Oliver, and Ron Sanders all volunteer their time to restore the Joyo Theatre to its former glory. The group was able to save many of the theatre’s original seats, which, despite their age, are still able to recline.

The independent film “The Truth About Tully” filmed five scenes at the Joyo Theatre. Although only two were used in the final cut of the film, it was still great for those that know the Joyo Theatre to see such a familiar sight on the silver screen. Several student films have also used the Joyo Theatre as a location.

Contributed by Jim Salber

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

Jessi on August 19, 2002 at 8:24 pm

i love the Joyo. its a great place to go to see local bands play. Its really fun and a great place to be. i love the Joyo.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 30, 2013 at 2:03 am

This article from the Daily Nebraskan says that the Joyo Theatre was built in 1926.

It had a predecessor, though, as there was a movie house called the Joyo Theatre operating in Lincoln (or Havelock, as the neighborhood appears to have been independent of Lincoln at one time) as far back as 1908, when it was mentioned in multiple issues of The Billboard and once in Variety. It was also mentioned twice in The Moving Picture World in 1916.

The Joyo Theatre in Havelock was also mentioned in The Film Daily in 1927 and 1935. I’ve also found mentions of houses called the Joyo in Fairfield (1938) and Coleridge (1957), Nebraska, but haven’t found any details about either of them.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 30, 2013 at 3:12 am

There might have been three houses called the Joyo Theatre in this neighborhood. A document pertaining to the establishment of a Historic Preservation District says that the original Joyo Theatre opened around 1912 in a building at 6121 Havelock Avenue. If that’s the case, then the Joyo mentioned in the 1908 Billboard items must have been an even earlier house.

The document says that the Joyo moved into the theater at 6102 Havelock in 1937. Prior to that the house had been called the Lyric Theatre. The document gives the opening of the Lyric as ca. 1928. 1928 is also the year given for the opening of the Lyric in an article by Jim McKee in the Lincoln Journal Star. McKee says that his great uncle, Volney Headrick, built the Lyric Theatre.

I’ve also found a house called the Havelock Theatre, operated by Bob Wintersteen, mentioned in The Film Daily of September 10, 1936. I don’t know if this is yet another theater or an aka for the Lyric. A December 15 Film Daily item says that the Havelock had been bought from Wintersteen by C. Fraser, operator of the Joyo Theatre, so this purchase might have led to the newer house being renamed the Joyo, assuming that it had originally been the Lyric, which does seem likely.

Nicneven on November 23, 2017 at 1:59 am

When was the picture of the Joyo taken? My husband’s dad owned the Joyo for many years. The picture you are showing seems to be one from when he owned it and my husband did the outside renovation.

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