Last week I went to see a musical at the old Lyric Theatre. I always loved musicals when I was a kid but haven't been to one in my adult years. A couple of friends of mine from church were in the community theatre production, so that gave me an excellent excuse to go. Just to be standing in front of the old Lyric Theatre was a memorable experience.
Back in 1972, there were a couple of movie theatres here in town. There was the Tupelo Theatre on Main Street and the Lyric Theatre on Broadway. The Tupelo went on to become the Tupelo Twin but closed when the bigger and better Malco Twin came to town in the West Main Shopping Center. A few years later it closed when the multi-screen Malco opened on Cliff Gookin. It also closed after a decade or two when the new and improved theatres came along at the "new" mall.
Of all these theatres my fondest memories are of the Lyric downtown. It is the theatre where I once saw the movie "Help" starring the Beatles. My sister won those tickets on WTUP Top Dog Radio. It is where my sister and I experienced the thrill of the Poseidon Adventure. It is where my friends and I sat in the balcony and screamed and laughed a lot when we saw the thriller Blackula. At the Lyric everyone in the entire town, I believe went to see "Tomorrow" which was filmed right here in Tupelo. The famous line from the film which we quoted over and over, "I'll never leave you. Never, never, never, Not unless you ask me to."
My first date was at the Lyric. My mother worked at Pasquales Pizza. My "boyfriend" worked there too. One night mother allowed me to go to the show with Danny; my big sister had to come along of course. We walked over from Pasquales at the Downtown Mall to the Lyric and saw the movie, The Hot Rock, not that memorable of a movie, but I remember the name and the night very well.
Of course, through the years I saw all the Elvis movies there. I was never a huge Elvis fan, but going to a show on Saturday was always fun, no matter what was on. My favorite Elvis movie I think was Roustabout. In that one, of course, Elvis never wanted to settle down. The story took place at a fair. My favoritism of this movie was about the fair, it had nothing to do with Elvis. I always dreamed of traveling with the fair and seeing new and exciting places. Needless to say that never happened. I never became a "roving roustabout."