Lyric Theatre closing in on $500,000 goal

The restoration of Brownwood’s Lyric Theatre continues as the Lyric Board is inching closer toward its goal of $500,000 to receive a matching grant.

As June gets started, the Lyric Board is tallying final numbers toward its $500,000 matching gift, and the members like what they see.

Dub Wilson, co-chair of the Lyric Board, said when those totals are released, they are confident they will have reached that goal.

“We are very close,” he said. “We are comfortable that we are going to make it and we are still waiting for some contributions to come in, but we are right on the cusp of going over the $500,000 match.”

The influx of funds during the matching period that ended May 31 is keeping downtown Brownwood’s historic theatre moving towards opening, but Wilson said there is still more to be done.

“We are going to need to raise a little bit more funds in order to accomplish everything that needs to be done,” he said. “We have recently had the blessing of being able to acquire the Four Corners store and we are going to put in dressing rooms and expand the lobby.

“That will be a really big plus for us.”

In addition to interior amenities, additional space would allow the theatre to expand the types of productions it can host by allowing the addition of a shop for building sets.

“We own one building on Brown Street and there is an indication that someone might be giving us another building there,” Wilson said. “We are planning to remodel that a little bit and put a scene shop back there.

“That will be extremely convenient for our use in building scene sets and that is going to take a little bit more money.

“But we’re reasonably comfortable that we will go over the amount of the match and we are optimistic that we are going to have funds there to do those projects.”

Wilson said a reopened theatre would be a great plus for Brown County.

“We are optimistic the theatre will be used by the community,” he said. “We will continue to do productions as we have in the past. We anticipate there are other groups in town that may utilize the theatre for some of their presentations.

“There are some schools that do not have their own theatres that may want to do some of their high school productions here.”

In addition to community use, Wilson said the Lyric Board also believes the theatre would be a good venue for corporate use.

“We have been contacted by one of those,” he said. “It was a little earlier than we could commit to and have the theatre restoration completed. There is a group out of Chicago that does a global leadership presentation every two years.

“They contacted us about using the Lyric as one of their satellite production locations to pick up attendees from this part of the country.”