Lyric Opera House

150 E. Chestnut Street,
Mason City, IL 62664

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Functions: Housing, Retail

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Lyric Opera House, Mason City, IL

The Lyric Opera House was showing movies at least as early as 1914.

The structure is a large two-story brick building constructed sometime before 1887, when it was called La Forge’s Hall. The auditorium was on the second floor. As originally constructed, the western-most third of the building was slightly less deep than the rest, and this arrangement seems to have been kept even after the gap was filled in by a neighboring building.

None of the Sanborn maps make a specific mention of movies being shown, but the opera house is still noted on the 1923 map. Under a scabby coat of putty-colored paint, the building today appears to be in decent shape. The ground floor has three storefronts, which may be occupied, and the second floor appears to be residential.

Contributed by Seth Gaines
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