Fort Collins’ Hidden Gem: The Lyric

Recycled doors of many colors. Birdhouses. A graffiti-covered school bus. And an assortment of brown rusty pipes and scraps make up the fence.  

The sun is nearly out of view. With beers and popcorn in hand, people gather before a giant screen over the outdoor stage.

Some sit at the tables, others take out their folding chairs and roll out their old blankets on the grass. 

Trailers for “The Witches of Eastwick” and “Hocus Pocus,” both upcoming, draw chuckles at how outdated they are.

Many ads before the main feature advertise that more than movies happen here. Whether it be dining, dance parties, Story Swaps, Broad Strokes art workshops, open mic nights, trivia nights, weddings, or “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” the Lyric is the place to be. 

Making its start in an old dry cleaner’s building in 2007, the Fort Collins theater has worked its way up into a thriving, independently owned business that attracts customers for more than just its movies. 

A regular customer, Sal Nosal, says that aside from the theater, she enjoys attending the weekly open mic and trivia nights.

She said she likes how it opens its doors for the local talent to play music, acoustic and electronic, and present original poetry. 

At the “Geeks Who Drink” trivia night, people can come for free drinks and show off their competitive spirit for prizes. 

Nosal said she sometimes rides down to the Lyric on her bike and hangs out simply because of its comfortable atmosphere and welcoming staff.

From the music, the films, and the atmosphere, Matt Peluso said that the vibe at the place is a “rocky roar.” He said he likes how the people who work there match the mood.

The Chaos Cultivator at the Lyric, Aaron Varnell, praises his co-workers for their work, saying that “the team is organized, and passionate, and motivated,” and for helping create an environment “where anything is possible.”

Gracie Elders, a Front Range student who frequently visits, said that “there is always something going on” there, whether it be a bunch of kids gathered in the lobby for family trivia night or a “drunk person singing karaoke in the corner.”

One thing she loves about the Lyric, she said, is how it supports local artists and businesses by selling their work (pins, jewelry, drawings, etc.) in the gift shop or displaying their eye-catching art on the walls. The artists collectively make about $8,000 to $10,000 a month. 

Promoting the local talent in the shop, she said, is a great way to help bring the community of Fort Collins together. 

A staple at the Lyric is the monthly movie retrospectives, re-releasing older and popular movies handpicked by the staff. 

The cult classic “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” was shown in preparation for the new Netflix series “Scott Pilgrim Takes Off.” “Die Hard” was played to commemorate the Christmas holiday. An entire month was dedicated to showcasing the best Oscar losers. All make the Lyric stand out compared to generic chain theaters. 

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