January 21, 1966: the Lyceum Theatre’s final bow

On this day in Duluth in 1966, more than 1,000 people gathered at the Lyceum Theatre at 5th Avenue West and Superior Street for the final performance: fifteen tours led by members of the St. Louis County Historical Society, Duluth Playhouse, and Junior League. The historical society’s executive secretary, Mrs. Josiah H. Greene, told the Duluth News Tribune that the group had planned on four tours, but so many people showed up to say goodbye that eleven more were added. The newspaper was sentimental in its coverage, beginning with a headline that read “Grand Old Lady Bows Out; 1,000 Bid Poignant Farewell to Lyceum.” The story began, “The Lyceum Theatre gave her final performance Saturday before a packed house of more than 1,000 visitors. Critics might call her production a nostalgic ‘History of the Temple of the Muses,’ but to those who attended it meant many different things. Some came because their parents or grandparents attended many years ago. Others because they had performed at the Lyceum. And still others because they themselves were regular patrons at Lyceum productions. A few came because their parents had their first date there, and on and on and on…some even cried. it may be that the grand old lady was showing off a bit Saturday afternoon when she stood in review for the crowds that toured her, for she was dressed in all the fineries and stage trappings she had worn for 75 years of theatrical performances.” You can read a history of the Lyceum here.

The Lyceum Theatre. (Image: Duluth Public Library)