This past Sunday, I had the awesome opportunity to shoot some photos at the Historic Lyric Theater in downtown Birmingham. Lyric Theater is located on the opposite side of 3rd Avenue North across from the Alabama Theater. It was built around 1914 and originally served as a vaudeville theater with a variety of different acts, including musicians, dancers, comedians, trained animals, magicians, acrobats, jugglers, etc. It hosted such acts as the Marx Brothers, Mae West, Will Rogers, and even Milton Berle. Currently, the Lyric Theater and adjoining office spaces are undergoing a significant renovation to restore the original beauty back to the majestic and historical building. The décor has been mostly untouched since the discontinuation of the theater’s use in the mid-1900s. The guide told us that although it will take several million dollars to restore the theater back to its original glory, they are well on their way to meeting the goal with the help of local benefactors. Plans are being made to complete the renovation so that the theater can be opened for use sometime in the near future.
The Birmingham Alabama Photographers community coordinated with the Lyric Theater to hold a photo shoot on site. A fellow photographer friend of mine, Delos Johnson, is a member of the Google+ community that organized the photo shoot. He invited me and a few of APF’s costuming friends to come out and participate in the shoot. You might recognize some of Delos’ work as he took several wonderful pictures of costumers at APF last year and allowed us to post them on our social media outlets. He’s a great photographer and we are lucky to know him.
For the photo shoot, we had several Super Heroes turn up to save the day: Josh Drake as Spider-Man; his fiancé, Ali Marceau, as Supergirl; Hunter Pennington as Captain America; Dia Stathakes as Wonder Woman; Christopher Walker as The Phantom; and John Reid as the Lone Ranger. Kimberly Parker also helped recruit everyone and ensure they showed up on time.
The photo shoot could not have been more fun. Not only is the theater itself gorgeous, even in its current state, but there are also six floors of office space. Beautifully textured glass, peeling paint, and vintage hand-painted signs made for a unique setting in which the characters could pose. Many of the final pictures, thanks to Delos’ fantastic editing, look like they could have been lifted straight off the pages of a comic.
Even though I’m really looking forward to seeing the Lyric after the renovation, I feel very fortunate that I got to see this building in its current state before it is completely renovated. If you get a chance, I hope you stop by to see it too. They offer tours, as well as scheduled times to photograph the building, which are coordinated through a representative of the Lyric.
In closing, I’d like to extend a huge thanks to the Lyric Theater, Delos Johnson and the Google+ Birmingham Alabama Photographers community, Kimberly Parker, and of course our wonderful costumers. You guys are all awesome!
~ Tim Stacks, APF COO