The Lyric Theater Opened in 1913, the Lyric Theater quickly became a major entertainment center for blacks in Miami. The 400-seat theater was built, owned and operated by Geder Walker, a black man from Georgia. The Lyric Theater served as a symbol of black economic influence, as well as a social gathering place-free of discrimination- and a source of pride and culture within Overtown.
The theater anchored the district know as "Little Broadway," an area alive with hotels, restaurants and nightclubs frequented by the black and white tourists and residents. The Lyric Theater's roster of stars was spectacular as the theater itself -- featuring over 150 performers including Count Basie, Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin, the Ink Spots, B.B. King, Patti LaBelle, Ella Fitzgerald, Redd Foxx and Mary Wells. When Overtown began to deteriorate in the 1960's the Lyric Theater closed and would remain shuttered for four decades.
In 1988, the Lyric Theater was acquired by The Black Archives, History and Research Foundation of South Florida, Inc. By 1989 the Theater, the lone surviving building in the Overtown district known as "Little Broadway", was listed in the National Register of Historic Places and restoration of the former showplace had begun. In 2000, after extensive rehabilitation, the newly restored Lyric Theater opened once again to audiences.