Excitement building as reopening of Lyric Theatre draws near

It brings fond memories to many people in central Kentucky.

Next month, Lexington's historic Lyric Theatre will be open once again.

A big part of African-American culture in the 40s and 50s, the Lyric will soon reemerge as a vibrant centerpiece to the East End community.

Alma Williams remembers going to shows at the Lyric as a young girl.

"I watched movies, saw James Brown," said Williams, who lives in Lexington's East End.

The Lyric was the cultural hub of the East End during segregation.

Now, Williams lives right across the street from the Lyric, which is set to reopen next month after a $5.5 million renovation.

Joan Brannon has been involved in efforts to restore the Lyric for years. She grew up nearby.

"I used to have a paper route that went by here," Brannon, who now works at the theatre, said.

Brannon says the new Lyric will have performances, a museum, exhibit space featuring local artists, and even opportunities for artists in residency.

"We needed art, vibrancy, a place to come together, and now we have it," Brannon said.

A nationwide search is underway to find an executive director for the Lyric.

Around ten people will work at the theatre full time. LexArts and area colleges will provide support too.

Grand opening events at the Lyric are planned for October 28 through October 31.

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