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posted March 02, 2005 10:13 PM
I am doing research on Madison Theatre. I know back in 1912 it was called Lyric Theatre. From the research that I have done it seems like it was built in 1911. Is this the correct year? For what reason was it built? Any other info about this topic would be great as well.
Posts: 1 From:Covington, Ky. USA Registered: Aug 2009
posted August 14, 2009 07:15 PM
The Madison Theater opened in September of 1912 as the Lyric Theater. Seating at that time was 960. In 1927 the Lyric Theater was purchased by the Ernst Realty Company (L.B. Wilson, George L. Hill, Frank P. Thorpe and Richard P. Ernst). The building was completely remodeled and the theater re-opened in October 1928 as the L.B. Wilson Theater. New management took over the operation of the L.B. Wilson Theater in 1942. At that time, the building underwent a $30,000 renovation. The name was also changed to the Madison Theater.
On December 1, 1944, the Madison Theater was nearly completely destroyed by a devastating fire. Losses reached the sum of $150,000. War-time construction restrictions delayed plans to rebuild the theater. Construction on the new art deco building did not begin until 1945. The new Madison Theater was open to the public on March 29, 1946. The new theater offered seating for 1000 on the main level and 350 in the balcony.
In the early 1960s, the Madison Theater was purchased by Mid-States Theaters Inc. The new owners showed for the most part second run productions. New theaters in the suburbs resulted in declining attendance rates at the Madison. On September 28, 1977, the last motion picture was shown in the Madison Theater. The building was eventually boarded up and left vacant.
In 1985, the City of Covington purchased the old Madison Theater in the hope of attracting a developer to restore its fading beauty. The city eventually sold the building to a private developer. The developer rebuilt the interior and restored the facade with some of the financing provided by the city. The Madison re-opened on New Years Eve 2001.
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