Lyric Theatre

315 9th Street,
Sheldon, IA 51201

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Functions: Retail

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Lyric Theatre

This theatre was constructed sometime after 1909, closing off an alley that had previously run between two smaller buildings. It was a wide single storefront, two-story brick building, almost certainly built to be a theatre.

This theatre remained in operation at least through 1918, but it was likely closed in 1929 when replaced by the far larger Iowa Theatre. The building then reverted to retail.

It is in decent shape today, although disfigured by an appallingly tacky awning. The building is, along with its neighbor to the west, a boutique.

Contributed by Seth Gaines

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 18, 2024 at 2:32 pm

The Lyric is not one of the three theaters listed at Sheldon in the 1914-1915 American Motion Picture Directory. The Scenic and Wonderland are listed, with their locations, but the third house is called the Bijou, with no location given. I wonder if this was an aka for the Lyric? A 630-seat Lyric Theatre is listed in the 1926 FDY, along with a house called the Gem, for which no details are provided.

Two more mystery names in Sheldon are the Strand, mentioned in the August 17, 1918 Moving Picture World, and a house called the Star Theatre, mentioned in Variety of January 6, 1937. Strand might also have been an aka for the Lyric.

The odd 1937 Variety item called the Star “newly constructed” but also said it had just been reopened. An ambiguously worded item in MPW of June 24, 1916, suggests that there was then a house called the Harvey Theatre in either Sheldon or in Anthon, Iowa.

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