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Blazer85

Lyric Theatre Restoration

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The 1,200-seat Lyric Theatre that opened in 1914 and was host to a myriad of famous acts and shows by Mae West, the Marx Brothers, George Burns, etc. It is now in the process of working towards restoration. This is fantastic news. Here's a picture from back several decades ago.

Photo15.JPG

You can see the Alabama Theatre on the right and the Lyric Theatre on the left. The Alabama Theatre is always booked and it would be nice to see the Lyric back in action.

Restoration experts from New York and Ohio have been in Birmingham recently drawing up plans for Phase I of the development. Phase I will cost about $12M and will consist mainly of restoring the great lobby. The folks leading the campaign to restore the Lyric Theatre are hoping that by people seeing the beauty of the restored lobby, that bigger contributions might begin coming in to speed along the process.

Here's a link to the story: http://www.al.com/business/birminghamnews/....xml&coll=2

What do you folks think about what kind of acts it should host? Should it be more like the way the Alabama is today? Or should it be restored with all of its glory, but be capable of showing modern films? There's no place really besides the McWane Center where you can see a modern film downtown... and of course the McWane Center doesn't exactly have a lot of movies that you can watch.

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Good question? I truly don't know? Although it is good that we are restoring another historical performing arts/motion picture venue, does Birmingham receive enough acts to spread around to all the venues (Alys Stephens Center, Virginia Theatre, Alabama Theatre, BJCC Concert Hall, and the Lyric Theatre)? Other than the Sidewalk Film Festival, I don't know of any other regular uses for this venue.

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Good question? I truly don't know? Although it is good that we are restoring another historical performing arts/motion picture venue, does Birmingham receive enough acts to spread around to all the venues (Alys Stephens Center, Virginia Theatre, Alabama Theatre, BJCC Concert Hall, and the Lyric Theatre)? Other than the Sidewalk Film Festival, I don't know of any other regular uses for this venue.

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Great to see that the Lyric will be brought back to its former glory. Birmingham will have another outstanding performing arts venue, and another building block for downtown revitalization.

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i think that, no matter its eventual use, a restored lyric is a win / win. it can handle some overflow from the alabama (though not the large-scale stuff), or it can find its own niche with showings of current releases, and still do well, imho.

a single-screen theater that allows alcohol consumption and offers a decently fleshed-out slate of rotating theatrical releases could be really nice - such a theater could even be bham's lone venue for limited-release new films that normally must be seen outside the state (if the distribution process could be negotiated for such films).

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Well I'm hopeful this comes into being. Far too many other great theatres have been lost in this city... other buildings as well (the Train Terminal and soon, the old Birmingham News). I don't care if you have the documents and photographs to rebuild it at a later date... it's not the same. The Lyric is a great old theatre and the Alabama with it would be a great compliment to each other. Maybe this will encourage developers to look at the old Pizitz Building.

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Richmond redeveloped one of its old vaudeville theatres into a thriving center for musical acts. It might be a good model for Birminham's Lyric. The National has a capacity of 1500, has seven bars in the building and has been doing fantastic business since opening last February. It's the kind of place where youngsters stand to watch their favorite musical acts, tho there are about 400 seats in the balcony for us old-timers.

It is also reviving interest in downtown!

http://www.thenationalva.com

Click "tour" at the top of the site to get views of the redone theatre, and "Schedule" to see the types of acts booked into the facility.

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^^^That might just work here considering aside from WorkPlay there is no smaller, intimate indoor musical venue in the city for acts that don't want to book at the Alys Stephens Center or isn't big enough for the BJCC Concert Hall. It'll be could be Birmingham's version of the Tabernacle like in Atlanta for musical acts that want to perform.

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^^^That might just work here considering aside from WorkPlay there is no smaller, intimate indoor musical venue in the city for acts that don't want to book at the Alys Stephens Center or isn't big enough for the BJCC Concert Hall. It'll be could be Birmingham's version of the Tabernacle like in Atlanta for musical acts that want to perform.

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It could be Birmingham's version of the Tabernacle like in Atlanta for musical acts that want to perform.

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