Exactly 102 years after the Lyric Theatre originally opened, a renaissance was realized. An audience again sat in the long empty auditorium and enjoyed a show much like one you would have seen in the roaring 20s. These images show the restored theatre, which will welcome guests for generations to come.
As we move closer to our completion date, it’s exciting to see the Lyric coming together. Recently, our team has been using old ventilation tunnels to run audio visual conduit to the stage, as well as electric floor boxes for seat lighting. Opera box installation moves forward with EverGreene Architectural at the helm, and seating on the mezzanine level is being installed.
Opera box construction and ornamentation is in full swing at the Lyric. Using the structural steel drawings, our team built plywood templates of the box shapes, then filled them with plaster to form the decorative elements. Several of these have set, and painting of the adorning cherubs has commenced. All of the opera box structures are complete, and full welds are being made back to supporting beams. Decking and concrete for the opera boxes is scheduled to be complete next week.
Stenciling at barrel vaults is moving forward. A photograph from a 1914 newspaper article was used to create the pattern.
While Evergreene’s stunning restoration work continues, steel crews are preparing the Lyric Theatre to handle additional loads. Current work will allow the opera boxes to be installed to original specifications, and also for a more modern stage fly.
The majority of the dance floor has been removed, but we did leave a portion to access the balcony transverse beam, where Evergreene will be stenciling. The restoration team is also plaster casting on the first floor, and painting as well.
The original Lyric Theatre featured 12 beautiful opera boxes. When Panavision came to the theatre in 1958, the opera boxes were torn down to make way for the screen. Since we are trying to restore the theatre to its original design, EverGreene has been tasked with recreating the boxes. Since we don’t have drawings of the old theatre, the plaster panels you see in images above modeled after old photographs of the Lyric. Once painted, they should be an incredible part of the audience chamber.
Outside the Lyric Theatre, our crews are applying fypon caulking to seal joints on the main sign.
We are rewiring the electrical work inside the building, to ensure it meets modern code. A new opening has been made from the stage to the dressing room areas, and masons are completing the brick work to finish it.
Over the proscenium opening, experts from EverGreene architectural are reapplying the canvas to the wall in the spots where it had separated from the wall. They will then carefully restore the artwork to its original vibrancy. The area overhead is being patched with metal lath.
Inside the Lyric, we continue to move forward with plaster casting and restoration. Experts from EverGreene Architectural are fine tooling the moldings. In damaged spots, they are using pieces of existing material to create molds and fill in gaps where necessary. For example, they used a small patch of an existing air return, repeating the pattern to form a complete circle.
We are continuing to tweak the paint palate to ensure it is both striking and historically correct. The most recent iteration uses rich metallics.