Wednesday, 28 October 2015 14:41

Renovations to the Lyric would please the spirits of the past

Written by  Joseph Donnelly
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When people ask me whether the Lyric Theatre has ghosts, I tell them there is a presence that watches over the place.


Last January, artist Basia Bulat told the Blenders audience, “You can feel the ghosts here!” Although no spirit has actually appeared to me in the 103-year-old building, my imagination summons people from the past.
I often evoke the late Jack Lundholm, the former manager of the Lyric who worked in the theatre from 1918 to 1969. The Swede, as he was affectionately called, witnessed the evolution of entertainment from Vaudeville and silent pictures to modern cinema.
If he does pay a visit to his beloved theatre from time to time, I’m sure he was smiling last week.
The Town of Herbert contacted the board, saying they were giving away chairs from their curling rink that used to belong to the Lyric.
We were overjoyed to discover three rows of green cushioned seats that were probably auctioned off when the Lyric closed its doors in 1981. The folks at the rink have taken good care of them and offered them free of charge.
The 21 seats are now being stored in the basement of the Lyric, and will hopefully make a reappearance for southwest audiences in future renovations.
Jack, if he were here, would surely smile at the progress happening in the upstairs of the Lyric too. The roof is repaired with new skylights, there’s a sprinkler system and the front picture windows are being restored to their original grandeur.
Eventually, I’d like to have all three floors operating at the same time, as it did in the early days. To make that happen, of course we need money, an elevator and people who share the vision.
As we approach our annual general meeting on Nov. 25, I hope more in the community will become members and join our team to help realize the Lyric’s full potential.
I look forward to the day when our balcony is built and can sit on a green cushioned chair, looking back at the projection room to see if Jack is still there.
UPCOMING SHOWS: On Oct. 30, Swift Current Improvisational Theatre hosts a special SCIT fundraiser just in time for Halloween.
On Wednesday, Nov. 4, author Dianne Warren is featured at Write Out Loud.
Youth Talent Night is on Nov. 6, followed by a Blenders presentation of Good for Grapes on Saturday, Nov. 7.
On Monday, Nov. 9, children’s entertainers, Bobs and Lolo grace the stage with their sing, dance and play tour. The Sundrops arrive on Friday, Nov. 13 for a concert prior to their America’s Got Talent audition in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Co-founder of Great Big Sea, Sean McCann sings on Tuesday, Nov. 17. Author Ed Willett is featured at Write Out Loud Nov. 18.
Finally, the Lyric is proud to present The Sound of Music 50th Anniversary Celebration on Thursday, Nov. 19 — a movie that has played at the Lyric many times before.
Joey Donnelly is a news reporter for Golden West Radio, folklorist and Lyric board member.

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