Lyric Theatre

300 E. Third Street,
Lexington, KY 40508

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Lyric Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Art Deco style of the Lyric Theatre and it’s marquee lit up the corner of E. 3rd Street and DeWeese Street from the early-1940’s.

A leading entertainment center in the African-American community, the Lyric Theatre hosted first-run films, black films and entertainers like The Temptations, Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, The Ink Spots, and Redd Foxx.

The Lyric’s decline began with the integration of Lexington’s other theatres and it closed in 1963.

The property became part of a dispute between a private owner and Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, which sought to condemn it in order to bring the property into the public domain and restore it to usefulness in the community.

The Lyric Theatre is not listed in the Film Daily Yearbook, 1941 (main list) but it is listed in the “Negro Theatres” section. It is listed in the FDY, 1950 in both the main list and “Negro Theatres” section.

The Lyric Theatre was reopened as a performing arts center on October 30, 2010.

Contributed by Lost Memory, KenRoe

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on January 3, 2005 at 7:39 pm

The Lyric Theater opened on December 10, 1948 built at a cost of a quarter of a million dollars. It closed in 1963. It had a single screen.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on January 4, 2005 at 7:19 am

Court to decide theater’s future………

“LEXINGTON — A Fayette Circuit Court trial this week will determine the fate of the Lyric Theater, a site frequented by blacks when the city was still segregated.
The theater was the center of black culture from the 1940s to the early ‘60s.
For at least five years, the city government has tried to buy the Lyric from a nonprofit group known as God’s Center Foundation. City officials say they would turn the Lyric into an auditorium, classrooms, a workshop and a black history museum.
But God’s Center refuses to sell.
Circuit Judge Gary Payne will decide whether the city has the right to take over the Lyric through eminent domain".

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on October 3, 2006 at 8:52 am

Here is a recent photo of the former Lyric theater.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on July 19, 2007 at 8:00 pm

This is a vintage photo of the Lyric Theater.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on March 11, 2009 at 11:37 am

Here is a Feb. 15, 2009 article about a possible renovation of the Lyric Theater to be used as a “588 seat theater, a multipurpose space and an African-American history museum”.

The location should be East 3rd Street & Deweese Street.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on April 13, 2009 at 6:59 pm

Here is an anti-renovation viewpoint:
http://tinyurl.com/cw4cw9

Pegbars
Pegbars on April 14, 2010 at 7:52 am

There is no 125 S. Main Street in Lexington, KY. Main Street runs East and West in that city.

ckingiii
ckingiii on October 29, 2010 at 6:09 pm

The Lyric Theatre officially opens tomorrow: View link

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