Lyric Theater

213 W 42nd St New York

LGBT Theater District/Lyric Theater
NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project
Written By NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project

The first initiative to document historic and cultural sites associated with the LGBT community in New York City, illustrating the richness of the city's history and the community's influence on America.

History

The Lyric Theater had several hits by gay playwrights and composers: The Blue Mouse (1908-09) and The City (1909-10) by Clyde Fitch; Abe and Mawruss (1915-16) by Montague Glass and Roi Cooper Megrue; and Fifty Million Frenchmen (1929-30), directed by Monty Woolley, with music and lyrics by Cole Porter. Ourselves (1913) by Rachel Crothers was also performed here.

LGBT performers at the Lyric included Sarah Bernhardt (1906), Harrison Ford in Glorious Betsy (1908), Laurette Taylor in The Great John Ganton (1909), and Edward Everett Horton in The Cheater (1910).

In 1934 legitimate theater ended here and it became a movie theater. The historic theater interior was demolished in 1996.

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The Mattachine Society of New York was founded in the apartment of Sam Morford at 16 East 8th Street in Greenwich Village in December 1955 with five members, and had its first general meeting at the Diplomat Hotel (demolished) in January 1956. Monthly meetings were then held at Avlon Studios in this theater building until 1957.

Building Information

Architect or Builder: Victor H. Koehler Year Built: 1903

Sources

Internet Broadway Database. Mattachine Society, “New York Chapter,” Mattachine Review, May 1956, 8-9.

Cover Photo

Credit: Sarah Sargent/NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project, 2019.

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