Lyric Theatre

172 West 23rd Street,
New York, NY 10011

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Lyric Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

This little-known theatre was showing motion pictures when it caught fire on February 5, 1922. As reported in the New York Times, the patrons left “hats, coats and even a Maltese cat in flight” at this small theatre located on 23rd Street near Seventh Avenue.

“Panic was averted by the presence of mind of the management and the employees of the theatre, whose efforts enabled the spectators to march out in an orderly manner while the pianist played The Star Spangled Banner”.

The only person injured was the projectionist, who was “scorched”. The cat was assumed to have been brought in by a patron as he had never been seen before.

The Lyric was still operating in 1924 when it was advertised running a week of Paramount pictures.

Contributed by Al Alvarez

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on March 30, 2007 at 10:59 pm

The Lyric Theatre is still listed as operating in the 1926 edition of Film Daily Yearbook with 600 seats. It has gone from listings by the time the 1930 edition of F.D.Y. was published.

kencmcintyre on March 30, 2007 at 11:05 pm

A cat scan of the Maltese was negative for any injuries.

shoeshoe14 on April 5, 2007 at 11:28 pm

Was that last comment meant to be funny? Just wondering. I thought it was.

kencmcintyre on November 2, 2007 at 3:45 am

Yes, it was a joke. I make them once in a while.

Kayhey on January 22, 2008 at 5:59 pm

It would appear that Manhattan had at least 3 theaters named “Lyric” at about the same time. Could there have been common ownership or were the operators of that time less possessive of their trademark?

A photo of this Lyric in 1927 can be found at:

View link

Kayhey on January 23, 2008 at 2:22 pm

Oops! Sorry for the broken link.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on January 23, 2008 at 3:45 pm

I don’t know why people with Scrapbooks bother to display photos that are so dark that details can barely be seen. Photos can very easily be rejuvenated with free programs like Picasa. I’m a computer illiterate, but this one took me only 30 seconds:

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on January 24, 2008 at 9:26 pm

If I recall correctly, the corner site that included the theatre is now occupied by a low-rise apartment building, with stores on the ground floor.

jflundy on April 18, 2009 at 11:47 pm

A photo of a Lyric Theater on Third Avenue between 12th and 13th Streets, Manhattan, NYC on April 24, 1936.

View link

TLSLOEWS on March 27, 2011 at 11:48 pm

What a great photo J.F. only 10 cents admission.Those were the days.

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