Lyric Theatre

205 N. 5th Street,
Beatrice, NE 68310

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Lyric Theatre

A history of Beatrice was published in the Beatrice Daily Sun on August 22, 1952. It was noted that the first theatre mentioned in the Sun in 1902 was the Auditorium at this location.

The Lyric Theatre opened at the Auditorium on May 2, 1907, and the Sun reported, “The program consisted of moving pictures and illustrated songs. For producing the pictures the Kinderome is used. It is an electrical arrangement by which perfect effects are produced.” (In 1913 they installed the Edison Kinetephone). In 1915 a reference is made that Nelson and Hansen, managers of the Jewel Theatre, had leased the Lyric Theatre.

The Elks Lodge later purchased the Lyric Theatre and in 1922 it was renovated from the plans of architect, R.W. Grant. From the news it appears that the Lyric Theatre was just used mainly as a lodge and public meeting hall and didn’t advertised in the Sun with the other theatres (there, however, was a Lyric Theatre in the nearby city of Wymore that advertised in the Sun).

In September of 1930 the Sun referred to it as the former Lyric Theatre and it was said the Elks had burned the mortgage. The Elks moved out of the building in 1976 and today the location is the parking lot next to the police department.

Contributed by rpierce

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on June 20, 2017 at 11:04 pm

From Motion Picture World, August 7, 1915: “Ben Johnson, the new manager at the Gilbert Theatre at Beatrice, has purchased a new pipe organ. He has closed his Lyric theatre in Beatrice in order to devote all his time to the new acquisition.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 13, 2018 at 12:47 am

The Lyric reopened under different ownership later. The June 3, 1916, issue of Motography said that “[t]he Lyric theater, North Fifth street, Beatrice, has been taken over by H. W. Crosson of Hastings.”

Later that year, yet another operator, Hal Kelly, who also operated the Gilbert Theatre, succeeded in getting the City Council to respond positively to a petition he submitted requesting that theaters be allowed to run movies on Sundays. This rare quick success in the industry’s fight against Sunday blue laws was reported in the September 2, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture World.

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