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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

LYCEUM THEATER - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

The LYCEUM THEATER opened on 22 Oct. 1883 as the Park Theater in the Wick Block on the northwest side of PUBLIC SQUARE next to the Old Stone Church. It was a large theater with an orchestra circle, a balcony, and a 3rd-floor gallery. The stage was 38' x 78' with a proscenium opening of 36'. Its stage was equipped with 12 traps, a paint bridge, a movable scene frame, and 5 border lights with 50 gas jets each. The decor was in the Moorish style, with gold as the primary color. The Park Theater opened under the management of AUGUSTUS F. (GUS) HARTZ† with a performance of Sheridan's The School for Scandal. On 5 Jan. 1884, a 3-alarm fire started after the audience had left a performance of Humpty Dumpty. The theater was rebuilt and reopened on 6 Sept. 1886 under the management of JOHN ELLSLER†. On 2 Sept. 1889 the theater opened for its first season as the Lyceum Theater. The Lyceum had several managers until it was leased by the Ed Stair Syndicate. It featured a variety of popular attractions and summer stock in the early 1900s at lower prices than the EUCLID AVE. OPERA HOUSE. Its stars included Sarah Bernhardt and Lillian Russell, and the Cohan family. The Lyceum was torn down in 1913 to make way for the Illuminating Bldg.

Ezekiel, Margaret U. "The History of the Stage in Cleveland, 1875-1885" (Doctoral thesis, Dept. of Theatre Arts, WRU, Sept. 1967).

Wick, Warren Corning. My Recollections of Old Cleveland (1979).

Last Modified: 18 Jul 1997 02:12:49 PM

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