Lyric II Theater

127 N. Buckeye Street,
Wooster, OH 44691

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Schine Circuit Inc.

Architects: Peter M. Hulsken

Styles: Streamline Moderne

Previous Names: Wayne Theater

Nearby Theaters

Wayne Theater

Built in 1939 for approximately $40,000, the Wayne Theater was operated by the Schine Theatres chain. Its opening probably caused the Schine Circuit to close their City Opera House. The Wayne Theater continued to operate at least until 1956.

It reopened in 1968 as the Lyric II Theatre and closed in 1978.

Contributed by G.D. Hamann

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on November 7, 2014 at 10:02 am

Opened 1937, closed 1956. Reopened in 1968 a the Lyric II before closing again in 1978.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 7, 2014 at 12:41 pm

Here is a ca.1944 postcard photograph of the Wayne Theatre and the adjacent Greyhound bus station. From a 1951 view at Historic Aerials, I believe that the theater had to have been on the east side of Buckeye Street adjacent to the north side of the alley between Lincoln Highway and North Street.

The Greyhound office must have been in the small building now occupied by the dental office of Dr. Ronald Ostroski, which is at 133 N. Buckeye. The theater’s address was most likely 127, 129 or 131 N. Buckeye. The Wayne/Lyric II Theatre has been demolished.

tc714 on June 1, 2023 at 7:24 pm

For a short while I worked at the Lyric II @ 1970-1971, as a Part-time projectionist while learning the trade. Walter Brubaker had been the manager for many years at the Schine Wooster Theatre and retired from there when it was taken over by Panther Theatres from Cleveland. Walter remodeled and upgraded the Wayne Theater renaming the Lyric II with new Simplex Projectors, yet still with Carbon Arc lamps. They had a curtain over the screen that actually worked; had to remember to throw the switch to open the curtain when firing up the first reel. Not long after I’d learned enough to operate on my own, the old projectionist -Blair Lightner- retired from the Wooster Theatre, leaving an opening, which I hired on and worked for the remaining 3 years I was a student at the College of Wooster, mentioned in a comment under the Wooster Theatre. I got to know Blair for awhile, he passed on a couple years after he retired. He was a wonderful friendly guy, with a ton of memories of his nearly 50 years in that projection booth, but he was also a major pack rat. It took me about 6 months to clear all the memorabilia out of that projection booth. I wish there had been a “Theatre Museum” at the time, as I’m sure I must’ve thrown away some of his “collection” of hardware that others might have considered valuable. But most of the posters he’d saved had long before crumbled, the projectors had been changed at least 2-3 times (originally there were 4 hand-cranked machines from the silent film era in that long booth) and all that remained of them and other devices were boxes and boxes of disassembled parts and pieces. The theatre had plate dimmers that would allow the operator to change the colors of the lights behind the grilles on either side of the screen. At one time there was a reflective disk (found in the projection booth) and a little spotlight that would project an image of slow-moving clouds on the ceiling. And there was a big box of movie trailers - but they were all made of the highly flammable (nitrate?) film stock. It’s a miracle those never caught fire, because by the time I found them, they were badly decomposed (smelled like bad vinegar) and feared to have become explosive. I took one out in the alley behind the theatre once and lit it to see what would happen. I was glad I had tossed a burning match at it because it did indeed explode! Yes, the Wooster Schine Theatre was a grand place, but sadly becoming dilapidated even in the early 70’s. The manager then, (Tom Williams) when he’d leave (as he always did before the last show was over), would always let me know he was heading out by calling on my intercom phone to say, quoting a line from the then-popular TV sitcom (The Real McCoys with Walter Brennan) “LOCK THE BARN, LUKE!”

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