Lyric Theatre

251 Conti Street,
Mobile, AL 36602

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Saenger Amusement Company

Firms: Stone Brothers

Styles: Beaux-Arts

Previous Names: Saenger's Lyric Theatre

Nearby Theaters

LYRIC Theatre; Mobile, Alabama.

The Lyric Theatre opened on October 22, 1906, seating for 1,200, as a vaudeville house. The theater was designed by the Stone Brothers. It also presented live stage shows, and occasional movies. The Lyric Theatre contained two balconies and two sets of boxes, a large, ornately decorated proscenium, and a fire curtain decorated with scenes of Mobile’s Bienville Square. It was also said to have wonderful accoustics.

Many famous names played the Lyric Theatre during its vaudeville days, including Richard Strauss, Sarah Bernhardt, Burns & Allen, W.C. Fields and in 1913, President Woodrow Wilson spoke to members of the Latin-American Congress at the Lyric Theatre.

After Saenger Amusements opened their Mobile Theatre across the street from the Lyric Theatre in 1927, the Lyric Theatre was seen as competition to the new theater, and was acquired by Saenger later that same year. The Lyric Theatre primarily was by this time a movie house. By the 1930’s and 1940’s, the Mobile Theatre was playing first-run fare, while the Lyric Theatre was reduced to second-run movies, and most often B-grade ones at that.

After the Lyric Theatre closed in 1950, it was demolished to make way for a parking lot.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

Patsy on March 23, 2010 at 8:36 pm

This theatre is mentioned in a book about Nelle Harper Lee (To Kill A Mockingbird) by Charles Shields.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 15, 2012 at 11:03 am

The February, 1906, issue of Engineering World ran this announcement about the proposed Lyric Theatre in Mobile:

“Mobile, Ala.—The Lyric Theater Co., of this city, has incorporated to build a $100,000 opera house. Stone Brothers, Cora Bldg., New Orleans, La., are Architects.”
From 1901 to 1910, the Stone Brothers architectural firm consisted of Guy Stone, Grover C. Stone, and Sam Stone, Jr.

The Sanger Amusements web site offers this page with a brief history of the Lyric, and several illustrations.

Mike Gallagher
Mike Gallagher on September 26, 2014 at 6:45 am

I remember seeing the beautiful Lyric Theater just around the corner from the slightly larger Saenger Theater. It was beautiful and contained a lot of Italian Marble. It had a larger performing arts stage. It was sadly destroy to open up that block to a park. The theater should have been saved – it was a gem in the South and actually a much better theater for acoustics than the Saenger. Where was the public outcry especially since in the 60s it was considered one of the finest in North America. We have a real problem in the USA in discarding our heritage.

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