“The theatre is so endlessly fascinating because its so accidental. It so much like life.” – Arthur Miller
There are many that say that live theatre can be a spiritual experience, as it’s human nature to tend to escape in stories about others through narrative and metaphor. Regardless, theatre brings people together and contributes arts, culture and promote the expression of true talent in our community. Theatre is an art form, that is can be a healthy escape from the mundane activities of life/work.
Here in Lexington, KY, there are an abundance of opportunities to sit back and enjoy the show come alive on stage.
Lexington Opera House
ADDRESS: 410 West Short Street, Lexington KY 40507
PHONE: (859) 233-4567
FAX: (859) 253-2718
TICKETS: (859) 233-3535
Originally constructed in 1886 after a fire had destroyed the original theatre located on the corner of Main and Broadway, the “new” Opera House, designed by Oscar Cobb, opened its doors on July 19, 1887 and quickly gained a reputation as one of the most well-designed and well-equipped theaters in the nation. By the late 1960’s the venue had evolved from a grand theatre, to a Vaudeville house and finally a movie theatre. It was scheduled to be destroyed when an esteemed group of local philanthropists established The Opera House Fund to raise the necessary funds for the city of Lexington to purchase and restore the historic structure. The facility is owned and managed by Lexington Center Corporation.
The distinctly 19th century ambience is one of the most charming features of the restored theatre. With less than 1,000 seats, the venue currently serves an average of 85,000 patrons annually, and remains a premier cultural destination in downtown Lexington.
Lexington Children’s Theatre
ADDRESS: 418 West Short Street, Victorian Square; Lexington, KY 40507
PHONE: (859) 254-4546 x240
Founded in 1938, Lexington Children’s Theatre LCT is a fully professional, non-profit organization dedicated to the intellectual and cultural enrichment of young people. They are a values based company guided by our mission statement and beliefs.
MISSION: LCT creates imaginative compelling theatre experiences for young people and families.
VISION: They share a collective aspiration to impart, explore, foster and develop artistry at all levels and ages in every theatrical discipline and educational opportunity. They are one of the oldest continuously operating theatres for young people in the country and are proud to be the State Children’s Theatre of Kentucky.
ADDRESS: 214 East Main Street; Lexington, KY 40507
PHONE: (859) 231-6997
This Romanesque-style theater built in 1922 was restored to its original grandeur in 1992. In addition to showing classic, modern and foreign films, the Kentucky Theater hosts a variety of concerts. They are more than just a movie house.
The Kentucky Theatre is a familiar Landmark to generations of Lexingtonians. It’s richly ornamented walls and glowing stained glass fixtures have hosted gala events and entertained overflowing crowds. They have also endured hard times and disasters, both natural and manmade. And so it stands today, a true palace of memories, a hall full of comedy, tragedy, drama, adventure, and just plain fun.
We hope you enjoy this brief look at her history and join us soon to continue the tradition by making some memories of your own.
Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center
ADDRESS: 300 East Third Street; Lexington, KY 40508
PHONE: (859) 280-2201
Originally opened in 1948, the Lyric Theatre was a thriving cultural centerpiece for Lexington’s African American families hosting movies, fashions shows and big name acts like Count Basie and Ray Charles. Recently renovated and expanded, the facility hosts shows and exhibits in its theater, museum, gallery and multi-purpose room. They host concerts, plays, as well as the weekly taping of the syndicated radio show ‘WoodSongs Old Time Radio Hour’.
Vibrant. Alive. The place to be and be seen. Between 1948 and 1963, the Lyric Theatre was a thriving entertainment centerpiece for Lexington’s African-American families. Originally built as a movie house, the Lyric opened at the corner of Third and Deweese Street (now Elm Tree Lane) in Lexington. And it quickly became a cultural icon.
Everyone has his or her favorite memory – the movies, fashion shows, vaudeville acts, local concerts, pageants – but during the ‘50s it was Jazz, Soul and R&B music that took center stage, with big-name acts like Ray Charles and Count Basie.
UK Singletary Center for the Arts
ADDRESS: 405 Rose Street; Lexington, KY 40506
PHONE: (859) 257-1706
The Otis A. Singletary Center for the Arts at the University of Kentucky offers the promise of excitement and discovery that only great performances and art can provide. Named on April 16, 1987 for the retiring eighth President of the University, the Center has become a major cultural resource for the Commonwealth. From its opening on November 1, 1979, the Center has accomplished Dr. Singletary’s wish to provide a succession of brilliant performances in our Concert and Recital Halls, which constitute impressive evidence of the University of Kentucky’s continuing commitment to the arts. Hosting an average of 400 events annually, the Singletary Center has served over 3.7 million patrons in the history of the Center.
The Center provides professional, full-service venues for the creation, practical application and dissemination of artistic, cultural and educational expressions by international, national, regional, university and student performers, artists and speakers.
MISSION STATEMENT: A part of the College of Fine Arts and essential to the UK School of Music, the Singletary Center for the Arts presents and hosts artistic, cultural and educational events for the University community, Lexington community and the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
Other Theaters close to Lexington, KY:
Norton Center for the Arts:
- 600 West Walnut Street
Danville, KY 40422
- 840 Stanford Road
Danville, KY 40422
EKU Center for the Arts
- 1 Hall Dr, Richmond, KY 40475