Former Lyric Theatre
Links and documents
1912/01/01 to 1912/12/31
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Former Lyric Theatre is a Municipal Heritage Property located at 227 Central Avenue North in Swift Current’s downtown. The property features a two-storey, brown-coloured brick building, built in 1912, that displays NeoClassical stylistic influences, a substantial metal cornice and ghost advertising signage on its side elevations.
The Former Lyric Theatre is of heritage value due to its major role as an entertainment and cultural venue in Swift Current. Opened in 1912 by a consortium of local investors, it was conceived as a vaudeville theatre with seating for 400 patrons. From 1918 to 1981, the theatre was operated as a movie theatre, but throughout its history has hosted a variety of events including orchestras, lectures, balls, church services, pet and poultry shows and dance classes, as well as serving as makeshift isolation quarters during the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918. A pool room and bowling alley originally occupied the basement, while the second floor was arranged in apartments largely occupied by theatre staff. One of four playhouses in Swift Current at the time, the Lyric contributed to the city’s reputation as an important theatrical centre on the CPR’s mainline.
The Former Lyric Theatre is also of heritage value because of its architecture, being the most substantial and impressive theatre to be constructed in Swift Current in the early-twentieth century. The theatre is a product of Swift Current’s great boom period before the First World War and is one of a small number of commercial buildings to survive from this period on Central Avenue. Neoclassical style influences of the original design remain evident in the pilasters which separate the windows, keystone lintels and a nicely detailed metal cornice with ornate brackets. Ghost signage from old advertisements still distinguish the side elevations. The second storey retains its arrangement of apartments, which are unique for their shared skylights. The impressive and compact theatre was designed by a Swift Current architect, C.A. Bloom.
City of Swift Current Bylaw # 2-2007.
The heritage value of the Former Lyric Theatre resides in the following character-defining elements:
-those elements which relate to the architecture of the property, such as symmetrical rectangular two-storey plan, its brown-coloured rugged brick façade, three-part ‘Chicago-style’ windows, its central recessed entry and adjacent (upper and lower floor) access doors, decorative elements including second-storey pilasters, splayed window lintels with keystones, a substantial metal cornice of Neoclassical inspiration with brackets displaying acanthus leaf impressions, and the second floor interior with transom lights atop the hallway doors, the arrangement of apartments flanking a central hall, the wooden staircase balustrade comprised of squared balusters and newels, the apartments with shared skylights;
-those elements which relate to its use as a theatre, such as the open character of the ground floor auditorium;
-the ghost signage on the side elevations.
Local Governments (SK)
Heritage Property Act, s. 11(1)(a)
Municipal Heritage Property
1918/01/01 to 1918/12/31
1912/01/01 to 1981/12/31
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Learning and the Arts
Function - Category and Type
- Auditorium, Cinema or Nightclub
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Department of Culture, Youth and Recreation
Heritage Resources Branch
1919 Saskatchewan Drive Regina, SK
File: MHP 2345
Cross-Reference to Collection