Memories of Shakespeare and the Lyric Theatre

By: Sydney Vollmer, ARB Intern

Ad for Shakespeare seriesLook what we found! CCM students of days gone by customarily made a scrapbook of their experiences while they were in school. The scrapbook of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music (one half of what has become UC’s College-Conservatory of Music) student Virginia Inez Day recently came into our hands just in time for us to start our Shakespeare celebration! For those of you who have been in the cheap seats, 2016 is the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death and we are commemorating it with a year of promoting our Shakespeare holdings in the Archives & Rare Books Library and documenting the history of Shakespeare productions in Cincinnati.

Among the many college memories of Virginia Day, we found documentation of the time she went to the Lyric Theatre in March of 1914 to see King John and Lyric Theatre exteriorMacbeth with her friends. Back then, a ticket for a box seat was cheaper than a gallon of gas in today’s world. Wouldn’t you love to pay those prices for live theatre? (Note, too, that at least as far as our Shakespeare celebration goes, we’ll be spelling it as “theatre”).

The Lyric Theatre was located in Downtown Cincinnati at 508 Vine Street. The business opened in 1906, only eight years before this Shakespearean-themed event. In 1921, the Lyric converted to movies, but sadly the business closed in 1950 and has since been demolished. Today, its former space is between Fountain Square and The Booksellers book store.

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