Lyric Theatre

407 Commercial Street,
Emporia, KS 66801

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The Lyric Theatre was opened in 1932 by E.O. Briles. It was the first theatre in Emporia to show movies on Sundays. From May to October 1933 Mr. Briles was arrested 12 times for violating the labor clause of the Sunday closing law. The Emporia Gazette referred to it as an endurance contest between Briles and the chief of police. The police and the city said if they stopped arresting him the case in the district court might be weakened. Finally in December he was fined $60 and costs for what was called just a test of the law.

Mr. Briles also operated the Lyric Theatre in Cottonwood Falls and in 1936 he purchased the Lyric Theatre in Excelsior Springs, Missouri. In 1954 he leased the Strand Theatre in Emporia, which was closed by his widow in 1958.

In February 1944 Mr. Briles moved the Lyric Theatre to 505 Commercial Street and it was still advertising movies in the Gazette through August 1951. In February 1952 it was reported that that old Lyric Theatre was being remodeled into a store.

Film Daily Year Book 1951 lists the Lyric Theatre with 375 seats.

Contributed by Ron Pierce
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