The Lyceum was a vaudeville theater in 1906, with dressing rooms and a paint shop behind the stage. - , Utah
Lyceum Theatre

271 East 25th Street
Ogden, Utah 84401

(1903 - 1910)

Proprietors Sawyer and Young opened the Lyceum Theater on 9 November 1903 with a vaudeville performance described as “one round of mirth from start to finish.”  The LaRenos presented illustrated songs and “feats of balancing.”   James T. Kelly and Lillian M. Massay performed a comedy, “The Intruder,” which “brought down the house and proved themselves comedians of no small merit.”[1][2]

The Ogden Standard Examiner reported that “if a packed house on the first night is any criterion, then the Lyceum will have a brilliant future, for after the seating capacity had been exhausted the doors were broken in during the mad rush of a hundred or more who were waiting outside to gain admittance.  The entire standing room was occupied and from the manner in which the entire program was received it was evident that the efforts of the managers had been rewarded.”[1]

“The Lyceum theatre has met with almost unbounded success since it opened a few weeks ago.   The attendance at all of the performances is unusually equal to the full capacity of the house, and at many of them even standing room cannot be obtained.   …   Messrs. Sawyer and Young are to be congratulated on the successful opening of a first-class house which not only puts a high class entertainment within the reach of all, but also provides a performance at a moderate price to which no one need be ashamed to go.  the audiences are remarkable for their quiet and orderliness.”[2]

The Lyceum Theater was originally built as a school house and “many of the oldest residents of Ogden attended school there.” The small frame structure later housed a number of businesses.[3]   Most recently it had served as the armory of the National Guard. For its transformation as a theater, the building almost doubled in size and was “fitted up inside in a thoroughly up-to-date manner.”  The auditorium had a seating capacity of 250, but “another fifty could be crowded in if necessary.”   A slanted floor gave “every person a full view of the stage.”   The auditorium walls were decorated with four artistic panels, with a hand-painted frieze around the entire ceiling.  The stage had an opening of 11 by 14 feet and was furnished with “entirely new scenery.”  Interior decorations were “rich and appropriate for the vaudeville house.”[1]

In addition to vaudeville and illustrated songs, the Lyceum showed moving pictures and held Sunday concerts.[1][4]

On 19 May 1910, the Maule estate announced that Lyceum Theater would be torn down and replaced by a “thoroughly up-to-date show house”.[5]  The original Lyceum closed after its Sunday performance on 17 July 1910.   Work on the new Lyceum Theater was to commence the next day, with completion by the opening of the vaudeville season next fall.[3]

1. "Auspicious Opening of Lyceum Theatre", Ogden Standard Examiner, 10 November 1903, page 6
2. "Unbounded Success of Lyceum Theatre Section", Ogden Standard Examiner, 19 December 1903, page 3
3. "Lyceum Theatre Goes", Ogden Standard Examiner, 13 July 1910, page 6
4. "Lyceum Theater", Ogden Standard Examiner, 16 November 1903, page 6
5. "New Theater for Ogden", Salt Lake Tribune, 19 May 1910, page 1