By Ryan McGreal
Published January 26, 2010
Ranjit Sandhu of the eclectic RJBuffalo has lovingly compiled a comprehensive clearinghouse of historical information - newspaper articles, photographs, announcements, advertisements, and personnel - on the beautiful, doomed Lyric Theatre on Mary Street.
It starts: "Nobody in Hamilton remembers, or can remember. So here is a little reminder about the magnificent Lyric Theatre in downtown, hidden just off of King Street."
The story starts in 1910 with the first announcement that a new theatre would be built. It continues through the years, tracing the drama, competition, changes of technology, use, ownership and name, drama both on- and off-stage, and eventual decline and closure in 1989.
The author doesn't just post images of the old newspaper articles, but has taken the time to provide the text as well. There are some real gems:
Mayor [John] Allan opened the initial performance. With his usual suavity, he expressed great delight at the interior of the playhouse, and thought that the management was composed of such representative citizens as to insure that the performances would be of the right kind.
There's an awful lot of reading in here. The author declaims at the top of the essay that it's still in draft form, but his painstaking collection of historical documents is already a tremendous gift to public knowledge.
Sadly, we collectively ignored his plea for preservation until it was too late.
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