Brownwood Chamber board members presented a check for $25,000 to the Lyric board. This money will be doubled thanks to a pledge from another donor to match every dollar up to $500,000 given to the Lyric between now and May 31st.
Lyric officials encourage the public to take advantage of this matching funds offer and consider making a contribution to the project now.
"If we can rally everyone now, we will be in the theatre this summer celebrating our 100th anniversary," said Lyric Managing Director Eric Evans.
While fundraising for the theater’s restoration has been under way in recent years, the Lyric Performing Arts Company has been producing major musicals and dramas along with children’s theater camps in other venues, including those at Brownwood High School and Howard Payne University.
The reopening of the Lyric will provide a “home” for LPAC productions, and will give the community a new location for a variety of other shows, productions and meetings not sponsored by the company. It is also expected to be a major draw for tourists to the downtown area, where they will also find shopping and dining opportunities.
Including the balcony, the restored Lyric Theatre will seat 364 people.
The Lyric Theatre, located at 318 Center Ave. in the heart of the downtown business district, officially opened its doors Sept. 18, 1914. For a city the size of Brownwood, it was a large facility and became popular with theatrical troupes and performers from all over the nation and the world. Its offerings included traveling stock companies, dramatizations of famous novels, hypnotists, ballroom dancing, novelty musical numbers, vaudeville comedy acts, dramas, performances by the Lyric Orchestra, and major motion pictures.
Early in the 20th century, the Lyric evolved into a movie house. The Lyric continued to serve the area as a movie theater until 1959, when it was closed. From 1963 until 2003, the building was home to an upscale clothing shop.