Caprock Chronicles: The Lyric Theatre, first proper picture show of Lubbock

tagsFixed Auditorium Chair

Erving McElroy, the proprietor of the crumbling 1909 old opera house, decided that Lubbock needed a suitable cinema. His idea produced the first big bright lights in a dark small town. In 1913, he established the Lyric Theater on Texas Avenue in a prime location opposite the Lubbock County Courthouse, and the Opera House soon disappeared.

The lyrics were originally famous for movie theaters, but McElroy provided a stage for civic events and live performances, such as cabaret performances, Sisterhood of Christianity and Quincy Lee Morrow's temperance lectures. Sometimes, McElroy hired the town’s champion wrestler, Bomar Moore, to fight a muzzled bear on stage. One Sunday morning, the theater opened its doors for the "Urban Bible Class", which has been here for many years.

Lyric poetry was a huge success, so in 1917, McElroy moved the theater to a new building with several doors to the north-1112 Texas Avenue, and signed the first in the history of Lubbock Real Estate Ten-year lease. At the same time, he went to Chicago and commissioned a state-of-the-art electronic sign worth 700 dollars, which boldly flashed the words "Lyrical Theater". Once established, countless people will stare at the "large modern mobile electronic sign." The bright lights of the theater have attracted the South Plains residents' screens for nearly 50 years.

In 1918, "Avalanche" praised the development of local film entertainment. "McIlroy now runs three volumes of new photos every night, and he has only run two volumes so far. This... There is no doubt that people who participated in the film screenings in this city would be very grateful."

McElroy remembers his first movie in Lubbock-the five-volume Italian movie "The Fall of Troy" from 1911. The early popular star was the actress Flora Finch (Flora Finch). Theatrical actresses Constance and Norma Talmac; actor Francis X. Bushman (Francis X. Bushman) and comedian Charlie Chaplin (Charlie Chaplin).

Tickets are very cheap, only 10 cents, but the cost of McElroy to show movies may be 6 dollars, so a house with 400 customers can bring a handsome profit of 34 dollars.

Crosbyton (Crosbyton) regularly arranges trains to run, attracting major attractions and conducting road shows in Lyric. McElroy recalled the play "The Modern Eve" and charged a $1 ticket for this. 40 seats have been reserved for passengers on the special train, but on an important day, 120 tickets were sold in Lorenzo alone, so the enterprising theater owner placed chairs in the aisle and placed them in front of the stage. Up a bench to accommodate everyone.

Oscar Phillips ran back in front of the lyrics. Phillips added an attraction in the back mezzanine of his store, where customers can sit at the dining table and watch movies, and they can also deliver soft drinks and popcorn through a clumsy, manual waiter.

McElroy sold Lyric in 1925, and the business went through several ownership transfers. He entered the construction and loan industry, raised five children, and died in Lubbock in 1974 at the age of 94.

On June 13, 1930, a luminous advertisement was published in the "Lubbock Daily". The lyrics changed dramatically. It was announced that an "airplane" would fly over Lubbock. The notice and dozens of passes were put down. Perform a new show. The show is an audio film proud of lyrics. On Sunday, June 15, "Flying" began a four-day run. Released by Columbia Pictures nine months ago, the show starred Jack Holt, Ralph Graves and Lila Lee.

The lyrics were burned in 1934. An article in "Avalanche" reported "opinions" that someone on the balcony (black customers were quarantined) might have fallen out of smoke and started a fire. Earlier in the week, the electric motor in the building started a small fire.

After repairs, the theater reopened in 1935. In the 1940s, Lyrics screened many singing cowboy films, but then it seemed to decline. In 1956, "The dancing legs of a fashionable Tonk Mistress" was advertised as "an adult photo of a profitable girl." One of the last commercials of the lyrics was the 1963 "Tarzan to India" commercial. Admission fee: 20 cents for children, 40 cents for adults.

The lyrics closed in 1964. In 1965, the property was purchased by former Lubbock County Judge Bill A. Davis. His wife Paula (Lubbock's first female house builder) razed to the ground and built a two-story office building, where Davis remained a lawyer until 2000. Judge Paula Lanhart, their daughter's retired daughter, recalled the remnants of the theater during the demolition, including burn marks. Fire and problematic inclined recessed ground must be filled.

Judge Reinhardt fondly recalled her years of legal work with her father in the footsteps of the old theater, and pointed out: "We may enjoy as many comedies there as lyrics clients!" The property is now occupied by lawyer Ted Hogan .

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