history

"Miracle" on Front Street

lyric-iii.jpeg

During the month of March 1929, certain citizens of Traverse City would have the privilege of witnessing a miracle right in their home town. It was midnight, and a small and very select audience gathered in the Lyric Theater on Front Street and sat in awe, watching an event such as they had never before witnessed.

 

When it was over, and the houselights came up, they stood to their feet, applauded wildly and agreed unanimously that they had witnessed a miracle in modern technology. They had been present for the first “Talkie” ever shown in our fair city.

Lyric Theatre, 1936

The title of this first “talking picture” was “Lucky Boy,” starring George Jessel, and the technology that made it all possible was known as “Vitaphone-Movietone.” The audience was also treated to a newsreel and a short presentation of President Hoover’s inauguration, all with sound. The Lyric was the first theatre in northern Michigan equipped to present the new talking pictures. A new era in entertainment had come to Traverse City.

- Bob Wilson