Lyric Theatre

135 N. Illinois Street,
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Unfavorite 1 person favorited this theater

Related Websites

Lyric Theater

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Fourth Avenue Amusement Co.

Architects: Herbert L. Bass

Nearby Theaters

News About This Theater

Lyric Theatre, Indianapolis, Indiana

The Lyric Theatre opened on October 14, 1912 with 5-acts of vaudeville. A moving picture was filmed on the opening night of the audience arriving and departing the theatre, which was screened on October 20, 1914. It received a major remodel in September 1919 and was remodeled again in 1926. On February 12, 1940 Frank Sinatra made his first ever stage appearance at the Lyric Theatre. In 1927 a Marr-Colton organ was installed. Included in the building was a large ballroom.

The Lyric Theatre was closed on May 24, 1956 for a remodel and the installation 70mm. It reopened on August 29, 1956 with Gordon MacRae in “Oklahoma” presented in 70mm on the 50ft x 25ft screen and the film played for 6-months. Julie Andrews in “The Sound of Music played from March 31, 1965 to January 17, 1957. The Lyric Theatre was closed in March 1969 with Anthony Quinn in "The Shoes of the Fisherman” & Richard Burton in “Where Eagles Dare”.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 20 comments)

JaneSwint on January 7, 2013 at 5:01 pm

I am wondering – at which theater “Gone With the Wind” make its Indianapolis premier?

pauln32 on January 9, 2013 at 8:21 am

My Mother Kathy Hodges (Norris) worked at the Lyric makeing out the checks for the stars who performed there sometime in the 1950’s. I have a few photos of hers that I think were taken at the Lyric of Farren Young and Ray Price. Mom was asked if she wanted to go out with a man named Elvis Presley at the time that he sang there in 1955. She told me that she declined because of the sound of his name. I wish that I could have seen the Lyric at the time she worked there.

thirteen on July 24, 2013 at 8:44 pm

I saw South Pacific at the Lyric in 1958. The interior had been redecorated and a lot of plastic flowers with lights beneath them decorated the front of the orchestra pit. Looked kind of tacky. on September 8, 2013 at 5:26 pm

Many thanks for the history of the theater you’ve presented here. I used much of it for a page for Scotty Moore’s website today about his appearances there with Elvis in 1955 I would very much like to see the pix pauln32 has of Faron Young and Ray Price there. Send me an email if you would. Thanks again

pauln32 on September 10, 2013 at 5:02 pm

Hi Jimroy, I also found a picture of my Mother with Carl Smith backstage at the Lyric. I’ll post or get them to you a little later this week. —Paul on September 10, 2013 at 6:14 pm

Thanks Paul. My email is at the bottom of each of the pages on Scotty’s site too if that helps, just click on my name. on December 2, 2013 at 7:52 am

Yeah Stephen. Most of that is from the Historical society I believe. Had it up here for awhile now Check out Paul’s pix too. Thanks.

DavidPalmquist on December 20, 2013 at 2:20 pm

The photo was likely taken around March 20 1929 when Anna Q. Nilsson’s picture “Blockade” appeared. The March 20, 1929 Indianapolis News carried an ad for ‘6 Big Vaudeville Acts, FEATURING JIMMY ALLARD AND COMPANY IN “JOURNEY’S END” A Sensational Laugh Hit" “On the Screen BLOCKADE With Anna Q. Nilsson”

The ad carries a small plug in its banner saying “where the crowds go” and it gives the theatre hours as 12:30 to 11.

The June 14 1929 Reading (Penn.) Times says the picture was a thrilling melodrama of the secret service, staged on the high seas and featured talking, music and sound effects. Typically, theatres in the 1920s and 1930s featured both live vaudeville and a film, and that is the case here.

According to the March 16 1932 Altoona Tribune, Anna Querentia Nilsson’s career began in one and two reel comedies for the Kalem company 20 years previously. She was in “countless” films, but mainly remembered for the 1923 “Panjola.” She broke her hip and returned to Sweden, and seems to have been trying to make a comeback in 1932.

DavidPalmquist on December 20, 2013 at 2:34 pm

Hmm. I should have used Google more effectively. I found the same picture on Scotty Moore’s web page, where he dates it March 23, 1929.

Chris1982 on June 6, 2014 at 2:01 am

Now a parking garage and retail on the first level.

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.