37THE LYCEUM THEATRE

Advert for Ideal Moving Picture Co. showing at Lyceum Theatre on Nov. 13, 1902.
Advert for Ideal Moving Picture Co. showing at Lyceum Theatre on Nov. 13, 1902.
Strathroy’s amateur opera company became well known, and travelled throughout southwestern Ontario. By 1894, the Albert Hall was too small to serve the community’s needs, and the Lyceum theatre was built. The new theatre seated 800 people; 600 on the floor and 200 in the balcony. Its ceilings and walls were decorated with beautiful frescoes, and it even had box seats!

Gilbert and Sullivan productions continued to be the main offerings at the Lyceum until World War One, when the local high school began to use the space. In the 1920s, the theatre was bought by a Mr. La Mantia, a local fruit seller. He showed movies in the theatre from the late 20s to 1939, when the theatre was declared unsafe. Determined to get his money’s worth out of the building, La Mantia stored potatoes in the old theatre until the 1960s!

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