57 N. Neil Street,
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The Lyric Theatre opened on Wednesday, November 11, 1911. The Lyric Theatre was owned by H. H. Johnson. On May 29, 1913 the Lyric Theatre received a full scale renovation costing $1,800. Seating was increased to 400 and other modifications included larger aisles, a better ventilation system, and a larger front door to welcome theater-goers. On July 18, 1913 a full paged advertisement in the Champaign Daily Gazette boasted, “We have increased ventilation; you have fresh outside air to breathe every minute you are in the Lyric Theatre. You can leave your palm leaf at home- our 16 fans will be working and you will be more than comfortable”.
The Lyric Theatre’s chief rivals in town were the Orpheum Theatre, Rialto Theatre, Varsity Theatre, Illinois Theatre, and Park (New Art) Theatre. The price for admission to the Lyric Thetare was 10 cents. The Lyric Theatre featured a conglomeration of films, as one advertisement featured movies from Pathe, Vitagraph, and Edison. There was a 2pm matinee and 7pm evening show everyday, sometimes more on the weekends.
In 1916 the Lyric Theatre was sold. The new owner continued to operate the Lyric Theatre until June 1919 when it closed for good.
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This video tells the Lyric Theatre story with a rare exterior image;