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Lyric Theater receives matching fund grant

By Staff | Feb 23, 2018

The non-profit organization that runs the Lyric Theater in Rugby recently received a grant to help address one of the theater’s needs.

In November 2017, Friends of the Lyric President Sue Steinke learned from the director of the Rugby Job Development Authority of a Tourism Main Street grant through the N.D. Department of Commerce. The Friends of the Lyric which operates the theater sent the grant application in later that month and learned in late January of this year that it had been awarded the full $10,000 grant.

“The purpose of the grant application was to upgrade and refurbish North Dakota’s main streets and the theater’s marquee coincided beautifully with their criteria,” said Steinke.

A requirement of the grant was matching funds and letters of support from the community.

Steinke said she wanted to “thank the Rugby JDA board for voting to give the Lyric those matching funds,” and the Rugby Chamber of Commerce and Convention & Visitors Bureau “for their letters of support in the grant application as well.”

Steinke said the marquee is in desperate need of renovation. With the grant in place the Friends of the Lyric can go forward in putting firm bids in place for upgrading the lighting, new windows and installing a digital board on the marquee which would allow for movies, dates and show times to be changed from indoors.

“If you’ve ever had to do that standing outside on a cold winter night, it’s not fun,” Steinke said. “The upgrade will be very welcome.”

Steinke said anticipates the cost of the marquee upgrade project will exceed the monies from the grant, and that additional donations are welcome and encouraged.

The community purchased the theater in 2013. It has been completely volunteer-run ever since.

“I contribute the success of the current theater operations to a very active board and the many, many volunteers that keep the doors open each and every weekend,” Steinke said. “Without the volunteers, we would not be able to continue to keep the theater running.”

Since the theater’s purchase, the Friends of the Lyric have made several improvements to the theater inside and out. The theater updated its wiring when switching from film to digital; installed seating in the auditorium; added amenities for the hearing impaired; and last summer made repairs to the roof.

Steinke said one of the Lyric’s biggest needs is upgrades to the heating system.

“There’s a lot of big ticket items yet to get over,” Steinke said.

The Lyric will turn 100 years old in 2022.

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