Lyric Theater

306 N. Washington Street,
Salem, MO 65560

Unfavorite No one has favorited this theater yet

The Lyric Theater was opened prior to 1929, and continued to operate until at least 1950.

Contributed by Ken McIntyre

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 18, 2012 at 7:12 pm

The July 1, 1929, issue of The Film Daily said that the Lyric Theatre in Salem, Missouri, had been sold to L. L. Lewis by W. A. Donaldson. The May 2, 1936, issue of the same publication said that St. Louis architect Bruce F. Barnes would soon be taking bids “…for the house to be erected by Lyric Theater Co., Salem, Mo.” I’m not sure if the theater Barnes designed in 1936 was a replacement for the old Lyric, or if it was a new theater that would operate along with the Lyric.

Given how little information about Salem’s theaters there is on the Internet, it’s possible that the Preston was the theater built in 1936, and the old Lyric might have either been closed when the new house opened, or might have continued to operate for a while. The Preston is mentioned in a community forum, but the only mentions I can find of the Lyric are the one in the 1929 journal and in the walking tour brochure. That suggests that the Lyric was closed a very long time ago.

A walking tour brochure of downtown Salem places the Lyric Theatre at 306 N. Washington Street, but doesn’t make clear if the current building on the site is the historic building or not. It might be new construction. Google Maps has no street view for the location, nor does Bing Maps have a bird’s-eye view, and it’s impossible to determine the age of the current building from the aerial shots they do have.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on November 19, 2012 at 3:40 am

A New Salem Theatre is listed in the Film Daily Yearbook for 1941, as well as the Lyric Theatre. By the mid-1940’s the New Salem Theatre is listed as the Preston Theatre. Both the Preston Theatre and Lyric Theatre continued to be listed in 1950.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 19, 2012 at 11:42 am

Thanks, Ken. I wonder if the choice of the name New Salem Theatre indicates that there was also an earlier Salem Theatre in town, as well as the Lyric? I haven’t found any mention of one in old publications, but towns named Salem are difficult to research on the Internet. It’s a common name, with at least one place called Salem in each of more than half the States, and multiple Salems in several of them.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater