Old theater made new

Rugby’s Lyric Theater has been around for almost 100 years

Submitted Photo Lyric Theater in Rugby has been around since 1922 and is now four years away from turning 100.

The Lyric Theater in Rugby has serviced the community, the surrounding area, and any other guests of the town with its movie playing abilities for nearly 100 years and the community has worked hard to keep it.

Built in 1922, the theater was privately owned for years. Then, in 2012, the owner could no longer keep it running. The high cost of upgrading everything that needed attention was not something he could afford alone, but the community wasn’t ready to see it be closed permanently as 2012 came to an end.

Instead of letting it close, a group of volunteers banded together to raise the needed money to purchase the upgrades and to renovate the old theater into a slightly more modern place for the community to continue going to and enjoying.

In mid-March of 2013, Lyric Theater reopened.

The volunteer group that took it over became known as the Friends of Lyric and established as a non-profit organization. As a very active board, they work hard to bring current releases for the community to enjoy and keep the theater up to date and running.

According to Sue Steinke, a part of Friends of Lyric, the theater wouldn’t be able to run without the constant help of the volunteers who come to run the concessions, make sure the movie plays, and perform many other jobs.

“I always like to thank the volunteers. Without them and the continued support of the community, the theater wouldn’t be able to run,” said Steinke.

As of March 2018, the theater has reached its five year mark of running, a goal that Friends of Lyric set and passed. The next milestone will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the theater in 2022.

They have also recently been awarded one of the Main Street grants given by the North Dakota Department of Commerce that will allow them to upgrade the marquee and other renovation projects. Along with the grant given, the Rugby Job Development Authority has matched the grant.

One of the very first things that Friends of Lyric plan to put the money they have been given toward is a digital sign for outside that will display what is playing, times, and any other messages needed.

“We want a digital sign so we can stop having to stand in a North Dakota blizzard putting up letters,” Steinke joked.

The theater is open every Friday through Sunday with the chosen movie of the weekend starting at 7:30 on those nights.

They work to keep the prices cheap for the community, something they are able to do through the volunteers who run the theater during the showings. Adult tickets cost $7 with children’s costing $5.

The Lyric Theater has a Facebook page that they use to update those interested in seeing a movie there. They post what is coming up for weekends as well as any updates on changes. Many who have visited and posted to the page have deemed the popcorn at the Lyric Theater to be the best around.

With good prices, popcorn highly raved about, and a community support, Lyric Theater continues to give everything it has for guest enjoyment.