Walnut Room this way

Walnut Room this way

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Lyric, formerly the Comus Theatre and T A Jenkins

The Lyric was built in 1912 by R. F. Goodlett.  It was a rather plain brick building with a simple portico and small sign, and designed as a vaudeville theatre.  The original name was the Comus Theatre.  An article in the Daughters of the American Revolution magazine mentions a celebration of Flag Day in the Comus.

It was acquired by the Malco movie chain in the 30s, renovated to its current Art Deco appearance with marquee, and renamed the Lyric.  It was one of the few buildings that survived the 1936 Tupelo tornado, and was used as a temporary mortuary. 

The Lyric was headed for demolition in 1984 when it was saved by the Tupelo Community Theater, who continue to hold live performances in the theater.  Note the guitar art on the corner of the street?  I began to spot them all over the city--Elvis tributes.
On the opposite side of the courthouse stands this building.  I am unable to locate any information about the building or its original use, but the stone at the top of the building reads "T. A. Jenkins 1928."  I can't tell if the bottom floor was renovated to include the windows/doors, or if it perhaps originally was some other type of entrance.  Not very visible in the photo due to the SUV, the center opening is a showcase window with a recessed door.
Alas, another unsolved mystery that I will most likely be unable to resolve.  Maybe when I retire, I can just go around finding out about buildings...oh, wait, by then, no one will still be alive who knows anything about them--I'd better not put it off.


J. Kirkland said...

A great example of its type. Only the theaters in Laurel and Philadelphia are even close.

Anonymous said...

The "TA Jenkins" building was the Jeff Davis Hotel. The bottom floor is now the Shelton Law firm of whom Jason Shelton is now mayor of Tupelo.