Promoting Attractions at the Lyric in Prineville

The Lyric theater was a small theater located in Prineville, Oregon. Prineville is about an hour-long drive northeast of Bend, Oregon. While researching the Lyric theater, I learned that it originally opened at a now-unknown location, then moved three more times before finally settling at its final, and most well-known location at 216 N. Main St, Pineville Oregon. The operator of the theater, Ken Piercy, opened another theater across the street and named it the Pine theater. The Pine theater is still open today, standing from 1938 to now, and serves as Prineville’s main theater. The Lyric was used as Pine theater's secondary location, and showed pictures to overflowing audiences. The theater closed in 1966 due to fire damage.

As for the newspaper ad, well, clearly it's a big one. The theater owner, who I’m assuming is Ken Piercy, must have had to pay a pretty penny for this ad. The ad takes up at least 60% of the newspaper page. This Lyric theater ad is simply massive and not easily missed. If you were flipping through the Crook County Journal on May 12, 1921, there is no way you missed this ad. Although the ad does advertise the week's pictures on the right, The Moon Riders, The Boomerang, The More Excellent Way, Wanted at Headquarters, and The Silver Horde, the ad clearly has one bigger focus.

The section for the George Carpentier, Jack Dempsey heavyweight boxing match takes up 75% of the ad. This boxing match is referred to as a picture, and has a creative title, The Wonder Man. It remains interesting to me that in older times, before the television, theaters were the only place to witness things like a boxing match. Theaters in modern times have such a specific purpose, and I’ve never used a theater for anything else. That purpose is to screen new movies with the potential of making extra money. A theater is not a necessity anymore. It's more like a cash grab mixed with a fun experience. In 1921, a theater was necessary. It was in high demand. It was the only place to witness the highly contested heavyweight boxing match, something that was widely popular.

Through looking at the newspaper page more, and reading the material to the side of the ad. I learned that George Carpentier, the fighter featured in the Lyric ad, was a widely popular figure. They even referred to him as the most popular man in the world. He was a war hero, with three medals to show for it. Without the Lyric theater, people would not have been able to see this match with their own eyes. They would have to get slow radio and newspaper updates. It’s no wonder this ad is so huge, it is most likely capitalizing on the potential of massive interest.

“Lyric Theatre Advertisement .” The Crook County Journal, 12 May 1921.