Lyric Theater

213 S. Main Street,
Yuma, AZ 85364

Unfavorite 2 people favorited this theater

Showing 12 comments

DavidZornig on January 27, 2016 at 10:57 pm

2016 box office photo added, photo credit Jim Spizzo.

LomaUsher on March 14, 2014 at 3:30 am

My uncle, who is now 97 years old, remembers going to see serials at the Lyric in Yuma. But a family friend who is also a Yuma native, recalled that – presumably in later years – going to the Lyric was scandalous. I think that by the early ‘70’s it had become an X-rated theater. I asked, “Was it a burlesque house?” She answered, “No, but what went on in the audience was! If you got caught going to the Lyric, you were in TROUBLE!” It was definitely a B-movie house in its best days, but later I think it fell on hard times. So to speak!

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 9, 2013 at 2:14 pm

There was a Casino Theatre operating in Yuma as early as 1916, when it was mentioned in the January 16 issue of The Moving Picture World. The operator was Johna Johansen.

kencmcintyre on October 17, 2007 at 10:45 am

Here is a September 1956 ad from the Yuma Daily Sun:

dlorona on March 22, 2007 at 12:43 pm

I’m sssooo glad there are people that are out there that still care about the old lyric. i lived her in yuma my whole life and seen things come and go and ive walked downtown many times and see all the old and closed buildings down here. I would love to go in and see the lyric inside for once. My grandma told me little stories about working for the theaters down town that she would make popcorn and take them to the lyric and yuma theater and i think at the time there was another one and she also worked at KRESS. But i wish i could fix it up and open it and show some old movies or something i wish i had the money but i hope one day it does get fixed up.
well if anybody has any more pictures of the lyric and knows who own it please let me know email me at

thegrinch on December 3, 2006 at 11:41 pm

The LYRIC is owned by the Lutes brothers who operate the Casino restaruant next door. From what Bob Lutes told me a couple years ago I didn’t think it was older than the late 1930s or early 40’s. Does anyone know if the Lyric was ever operated as the Casino theatre. I have been going nuts trying to track down a Casino theatre in Yuma.
Ken MC – could you email me off line about your 1923 data above? Email me at Thx. Don Story

kencmcintyre on December 1, 2006 at 3:38 pm

Back to June 1975:


A young man who really gets involved in his business has taken over the Lyric Theater on the Downtown Territorial Mall. It has been closed the past year. Gerald Thomas, who has theaters at Taft and Arvin Calif., began in the business as a janitor in San Francisco
when he was 10 years old. He is now 28 (and unmarried) and owns Thomas Theaters of California.

“Theater management always has problems with unruly patrons, characters trying to enter the theater who would pose a danger or threat to those inside. When I have such a problem, I get right in the middle and solve it myself,” Thomas said. “People who are too drunk or people who cause a commotion in the theater do not belong in there, I get them out.”

Thomas plans to open the Lyric Wednesday with a matinee showing of “The Island at the Top of World.” “I’m going to be showing second-run movies,” he said. “They’ll all be family-type movies generally rated G through PG with some Rs like "The Godfather.” There’ll be
no X-rated movies. Thomas has installed all newly reconditioned projection equipment and refurbished the front of the theater.
The screen will be about 60% brighter than before,“ he said. "Kids are welcome. They’ll be safe in my theater.”

The Lyric will seat 500 people and matinees will start at noon.
Cost will be 75 cents for children under 12: $1.50 for 12 and above and $1 for the military.

kencmcintyre on December 1, 2006 at 3:31 pm

Here is the lineup on 3/11/23:

“The Dangerous Age” A First National Production starring Lewis Stone, Cleo Madison and Ruth Clifford.

Added attractions – Movie Chats, Felix the Cat

Next Saturday and Sunday:
“If You Believe It, It’s So” – A Paramount Picture

kencmcintyre on October 28, 2006 at 5:29 pm

A business license was issued for the Lyric in June 1975, perhaps to the last owners of the business, according to the Yuma Daily Sun:

There were seven business licenses issued by the city of
Yuma during the period of June 10 through 17. They were (excerpting):
Lyric Theater, Western Theaters of California, 211 Main St.

Also Plaza Theaters, 1560 4th Ave., Great Western Theaters
Inc. and James Jannapolous, owner Steven Lane, president;

Kimberle on August 3, 2006 at 8:26 pm

As someone who is obessed with both old gorgeous theatres and abandoned buildings, I LOVED the photos of the old Lyric. Do you have any more Bryan? my email is .edu

Mac4TBH on May 17, 2006 at 6:32 pm

In 49 was the first time I paid my 10 cents to see a movie in the Lyric and many years later the last movie I saw there was Dean and Jerry in Jumping Jacks. I loved and still do love Yuma and my brother still visits but I do not get around much anymore so I just look at the pictures. I think I may have a poor picture of the main theater sign but from a long way off and I will see if I can find it and post it. We had the wagonwheel/Texaco gas station out on 80 at the pass and also Panchos Rentals in town… 1100 8th street

Thanks for the picks

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on November 2, 2005 at 8:40 am

Hey Brian. These pictures are too sad to look at. Do you have any outside photos of the Lyric?