Virginia Tech University Libraries, Special Collections
in collaboration with
the Department of Housing, Interior Design, and Resource
Theatre: A Look Back at the Beginnings
The design of the Lyric Theatre was the result of a gradual evolution and frank expression of
conditions. It is essentially a campus playhouse, and shows the influence of the contemporary
school, although there was no attempt at bizarre effects.
As the Blacksburg Realty Corporation controls the Corner Store and its associated interests, the
building has been considered carefully in relation to the present group. This resulted in the open
stone grille panels, which form the central feature of the theatre entrance, and provide and open
court for use of the tenants of both buildings.
The structural walls of the entrance
have been expressed by pilasters above the marquise which terminate with carved stone heads,
reminiscent of the Tragedy and Comedy masks which represent the actor's genius in the
impersonation of his role.
The grilles and masks enfold the Lyric, which has been lettered to conform to the general design.
As the center of attraction is toward the top, the specially designed marquise has been kept very
quiet in design to add congruity to the whole.
The office entry has been featured in its subordinated position, and the stores, expressive of their
true mission, are located to take advantage of the important position of College Avenue.
Source: V.P.I. Skipper, April 1930, p. 5.
Gary Cooper turned down the male lead in Gone with the Wind (1939). When he
heard that the studio finally had its leading man, Cooper said,"I'm glad it'll be Clark Gable who's
falling flat on his face, not Gary Cooper."
from The Book of Lists: The 90s Edition by David Wallechinsky and Amy Wallace
(Boston: Little, Brown & Company, 1990).
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Last updated: January 15, 1996