We are excited to be to able update all our donors and community partners on one of Birmingham’s biggest projects! Thanks to Tom Cosby we were fortunate to get a sneak peek of the progress being made inside the oldest existing Birmingham theatre, the Lyric!
Cleaning and restoring of Harry Hawkins mural, “Allegory of the Muses,” the oldest mural in Birmingham.
History of The Lyric
The Lyric Theatre downtown was originally a vaudeville theatre which opened January of 1914 and hosted incredible performers including Rube Goldberg, the Marx Brothers, Mae West, Milton Berle, George Burns, and Roy Rogers and his horse Trigger. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger made an appearance at the Lyric when he was shoothing his first feature film Stay Hungry in Birmingham. Today, the Lyric is on the path of restoration with help from many donors. As one of the first grants toward their fundraising efforts, the Community Foundation awarded $70,000 to the Lyric to be used over two years toward the first phase of revitalization.
Perfect replicas of vintage castings re installed over the Lyric’s exit doorways.
Putting those funds to good use, the architects at the Lyric are designing an exciting vintage look for the concession area, reusing some of the original Sylacauga marble, doors, radiators and 100 year old gearing mechanisms to create a most unique and historically appealing space. Onstage, a new steel substructure is now in place so they can next lay the concrete slab atop it. This will provide the necessary foundation for two layers of a special plywood that will then be topped with a Masonite-like surface. It will all result in making the Lyric stage a perfect “dancing floor,” built to Broadway-style specifications.
Massive 2 ton HVAC package unit installed atop Lyric’s roof.
Totally Cool Environment
When the theatre was first built, there was no air conditioning. Rather, the Lyric blew a huge fan behind a two- ton block of ice. After the roof work was largely completed, an HVAC package unit was hoisted atop the Lyric’s roof last month, assembled and bolted down. And now, the Lyric is about to have not only heat but air conditioning for the first time in its 101 year history! The Lyric is making exponential progress. And we can’t wait for opening night!