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Lights, Camera, Lyric!

Don’t call it a comeback, because Lyric Theatre has been in Birmingham for years! This jewel of a landmark, situated in the epicenter of Birmingham’s downtown notable culture has gained the attention of donors who sought to restore the theatre into it’s rightful place in our southern entertainment sector.

For those that have witnessed the evolution of Lyric the grand opening has been a long time coming. Former Birmingham City Councilor Elias Hendricks used to visit the Lyric as a child, and says the re-opening of such a historical venue in Birmingham is phenomenal. Hendricks recalled some of his experiences as a child and says he looks forward to be able to experience the Lyric in a new light.

“I remember having to sit on the second and third floor balcony as a child, because at the time blacks weren’t allowed to sit anywhere else. ” said Hendricks. “Black people had to go outside, up through a fire escape where it had colored entrance at the top. Although seating was segregated, the theatre had perfect acoustics, which made for awesome movie theatre entertainment. I am looking forward to being able to step inside a childhood favorite of mine and being able to hear a jazz concert in such a well built venue.”

Nearly fifty years later after visiting the Lyric as a child, Hendricks had the chance to help begin the process to restore the theater while working as a Birmingham City Councilor.

“I remember Cecil and Linda Whitmire who were over Alabama Landmarks at the time working tirelessly on this project,” Hendricks said. “They had the huge responsibility of having to fix up the lobby due to a previous fire in Vaudeville, so it could be appealing to potential investors. This has always been a work in progress. I’m glad to see the progress that has paid off for our community.”

After twenty years of hammering through the rubbish of old mire, clay and destruction coupled with $11.5 million in restorations later, the oldest theatre in Birmingham is now ready to showcase to everyone that new life has been born inside of the Lyric.

The Lyric Theatre sits across from the Alabama Theatre and is located at 1800 3rd Ave. N. The general number for the theater is (205) 252-2262. Visit the theater’s website at

This article is a contribution from Chiara Perry ( in the Birmingham City Council Public Information Office. For more information please contact 205.254.2294.