Lyric Theatre / Tupelo, MS

Jackson Advocate

February 17, 2011 – February 23, 2011

STATE/METRO; Pg. 3A Vol. 73 No. 18

Mississippi Arts Commission to host 2011 Governor’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts

Each year the poster for the Governor’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts honors the new award recipients and celebrates the relationship between government and the arts. TMs year’s poster image is the forth in a series of photographs depicting arts facilities that have received support for the Mississippi Arts Commission’s Building Fund for the Arts (BFA) Program.

The Lyric Theatre in Tupelo was built in 1912 by R. F. Goodlett. Originally named The Comus, it hosted live vaudeville shows. In the 1930s, it became a part of the Maleo chain of movie houses, and the name was changed to the Lyric Theatre. Its sturdy brick walls made the Lyric one of the few buildings to escape the fury of the 1936 tornado that ravaged the city. A popular local legend claims that Elvis "stole" his first kiss in the balcony of the Lyric. In 1984, the Lyric had outlived its usefulness as a movie theatre, and Tupelo Community Theatre purchased the historic building and restored it to be its permanent home. The poster design is by Vidal Blankenstein, and the photograph was taken by Tom Joynt, both of Jackson.

The Building Fund for the Arts program is funded through the Mississippi Legislature and state general obligation bonds to provide high quality facilities for arts and cultural activities.

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