Virginia Tech University Libraries, Special Collections
in collaboration with
the Department of Housing, Interior Design, and Resource Management
The Lyric Theatre: A Look Back at the Beginnings
Bring Back the Lyric!
The Lyric finally closed in the 1980s. It is still owned by the Blacksburg Realty Corporation. The
Lyric is now poised for a revival of activities: film, live theater, dance, music, and lecture...very
much reminiscent of its early vaudeville days. The Lyric Council is the organization which plans to
reopen the theater for limited runs beginning mid-February, 1996.
Views of the interior of the Lyric:
"The building was designed to harmonize in appearance with nearby structures in the
business district and with the Gothic architecture of recent and future buildings of the Virginia
Polytechnic Institute. Inside, the theatre design is tastefully executed, with a modernistic touch,
yet lacks any suggestion of pomp or gaudiness. The foyer is unique with its sunburst lighting
effects, burnt umber decorations and its curtained nook. The far end is set off by a balcony
stairway with a circular balustrade of hand-carved and inlaid wood of varied hues."
From the Roanoke Times, April 16, 1930.
The oft-reiterated complaint that there are not enough good parts for female stars is borne out by
the figures. Of all the Hollywood pictures released in 1990, only 18 percent had the leading lady
given the top billing. Backtrack seventy years and what do we find? In 1920 no less than 57
percent of Hollywood movies billed the female star above the leading man.
From The Book of Lists: The 90s Edition by David Wallenchinsky and Amy Wallace
(Boston: Little, Brown & Company, 1993).
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Last updated: January 14, 1996