Brownwood's Lyric Theatre has been idle since the late 1950's until now.
According to the theatre's managing director, Eric Evans, the Lyric Theatre was originally built in 1914 as a vaudeville theatre. Throughout the years it has served as a movie house, a dress shop and a performing arts theatre with movies. It then closed in 1959 because no one could afford to keep it open.
After having an epiphany around 10 years ago, Evans and artistic director Dr. Nancy Jo Humfeld, along with another colleague, decided to take action to create a place for everyone to enjoy.
"We feel it will truly be a catalyst for other businesses," Dr. Humfeld said. "It brings new possibilities for heightened economic success downtown as well as some things to do."
Dr. Humfeld said it has been a labor of love to restore the Lyric Theatre. "It's so wonderful to see it come to fruition and to realize that in several months, we'll be able to put on a production in this particular space."
That's not all the facility will be utilized for.
"In addition to serving as a complex for the performing arts, it's also going to be a place for businesses or for conventions to come to Brownwood," Evans said.
With its downtown location, both of the directors said it would be a good opportunity for folks to grab dinner nearby and walk over to the Lyric Theatre for a show afterwards.
The $2 million project is expected to be completed by May 2014. It is expected to seat between 300 to 400 people. Evans said there will be a big celebration for the completion as well as the building's 100th anniversary.
For information on upcoming performances and ways to donate, visit www.brownwoodlyrictheatre.com.
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