JJ_MacCrimmon (jj_maccrimmon) wrote in urban_decay,

Abandoned Places – The Lyric Theatre versus The Alabama Theatre (July 09)

The Lyric Theatre was originally constructed as a Vaudeville theater. For those not familiar with the term, Vaudeville is the equivalent of a modern variety show or even late night talk show. Vaudeville shows would have comedy acts, singers, dancers, burlesque performances, magicians, escape artists, animal acts and much more. Like any theater that stages live acts, dressing rooms and staging areas were critical for performers to prepare, for the staff to maintain the sets, store lights and in this case to house the boiler plant to power the steam organ and heat the stage.

To note, the dressing rooms at the Lyric are directly below the main stage and are accessible down a narrow staircase. There may once have been a street-side cargo lift, but there’ no evidence of it now.

The Lyric - The dressing room common area lit by one of my studio lights

The Lyric - Looking into a dressing room

The Lyric – Sink Detail

The Alabama - Stairs to the various dressing rooms

The Alabama - The clean modern dressing room

The Alabama – Another dressing room

The Lyric - To the store and a blocked entrance to the Lyric Office tower basement

The Lyric – Heading back to the storage bays, workshop and steam boiler room

The Lyric - Lights out for now

The Lyric - Stage Manager’s office – above the door is a good example of how rotted the stage floor is. The roof here is the stage.

The Lyric - Filtering and color balance made many of the cobwebs disappear so I could show detail of the stage floor / dressing room ceiling

The Lyric – stage / ceiling

The Lryic – tthis was a the boiler room that supplied heat to the stage and steam to the pipe organ. To note, the organ didn’t apparently run steam through the sounding pipes, but used it to run an air compressor unit to supply the organ with drier air. The boiler would have set over the condensation sump in the floor.

The Lyric – Semi-modern (1970’s) circuit breaker / switching box

The Lyric – 1940’s era circuit breaker / switching box

The Lyric – the original 1910 era master circuit breaker / switching box

The Lyric – Studio lit shower room door (1930’s era)

The Lyric – Studio lit dressing room door

The Alabama – Film storage and splicing.
In contrast to The Lyric, below stage at The Alabama is now dedicated to the storage and support functions. At one time though, rooms like this were used for dressing and show prep (now located on the sides of the stage area).

The Alabama – Saltines

The Alabama – storage

The Alabama - Curtains and backdrops (former dressing rooms)

The Alabama - Light storage and repair (former dressing rooms)

The Alabama – shop areas. These are the oldest and deepest parts of the theater

The Alabama – workshop interior #1

The Alabama – workshop interior #2
It’s not hard to envision the Lyric workshops looking much like this in their heyday.

Next up, the Lyric Building bottom to top


If you would like to assist in the restoration and recovery of The Lyric, donations can be made through their website ( http://www.lyricfineartstheatre.com/ ) and potentially through special events and activities to be announced in the near future. Folks, I’ll be posting more images (normal and comparison sets) soon.
Tags: abandoned place, birmingham, commercial, photography, se usa
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