When MAE WEST performed in Dixie, those lovely Southern gentleman gave her a good hand — — the kind of applause that makes paint flake from the walls.
• • One of the many playhouses Mae appeared in was the Lyric Theatre.
• • The grandly decorated auditorium opened as the premier entertainment venue in Birmingham during the years 1914 —1926. In addition to boasting of the famous live acts featured here — — such as Mae West, Will Rogers [1879 — 1935], the Marx Brothers — — the playhouse once called the "King of Vaudeville" in Birmingham is very proud of its history. The Lyric is the oldest surviving theater in a city that once offered great variety to entertainment seekers: over sixty theatres, opera houses, nickelodeons, and silent movie houses. This sturdy corner building has withstood many decades of neglect and changes in the downtown community to become a lasting testament to Birmingham architecture and to vaudeville theatre.
• • The Lyric Theater is located at 1800 3rd Avenue North in Birmingham, Alabama. According to Bobby Horton, of Birmingham Landmarks: "It's just our history. It's tied to our history. You know in 1914 when this thing was opened Birmingham was booming. This is a theater where the greatest names came through. This was a major, major stop on the vaudeville circuit . . . ."
• • Restoration efforts are afoot. The plan is to raise funds to renovate the Lyric in time for its 100th anniversary in 2014 — — and we wish them the best of luck.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
• • Photo: • • Mae West • • none • •
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