Lyric Cinema Cafe: ‘Toon town in Old Town

Lyric
The Lyric Cinema Cafe serves a variety of foods and beverages. (Photo Credit: Erick Plattner)

Never-ending cereal, Bugs Bunny and theater seating —  it’s the type of experience that kids dream of.

For nearly seven years now, the Lyric Cinema Cafe in Downtown Fort Collins has been making that dream a reality.

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Every day of the week this summer, from 10 a.m. to noon, the Lyric offers free showings of cartoon classics. Cartoon lovers of all ages are invited to sit back, relax and take in some of the best entertainment the past century has to offer.

Whether it’s Tom & Jerry or Transformers, morning cartoons at the Lyric are can satisfy everyone’s inner-child.

Those looking for a little more substance than the slapstick antics of The Animaniacs or Mickey Mouse are welcome to make requests for what to play next.

Kelly Zweifel, the self-described “theater mom” and Lyric employee, said that requests tend to depend on the age of the viewer.

“Sometimes they’ll request Thundercats, sometimes Voltron,” Zweifel said. “But most people want Looney Tunes.”

Ben Mozer, the owner of the cinema, falls in with this majority.

“In playing all of these cartoons, I’ve watched and re-watched a lot of them, and it really doesn’t get better than Looney Tunes,” Mozer said. “I think Looney Tunes was pretty much the height of cartoons.”

Since 2008, when the Lyric began broadcasting morning cartoons, the theater’s collection has grown considerably.

“We just sort of collected a bunch over time. We knew we wanted to have some classics that all ages could laugh at,” Zweifel said.

The 5$ all-you-can-eat cereal bar is quite popular.
The $5 all-you-can-eat cereal bar is quite popular. (Photo Credit: Erick Plattner)

According to Zweifel, the majority of the audiences are parents with their children, but cartoon lovers young and old attend the Lyric’s morning showings. She said that college students looking to escape from the stresses of school account for a spike in attendance during finals.

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“Sometimes we get summer daycares that come in, so it can fill up,” explains Zweifel. “On a weekday, two of them might come in and we’ll have 50 kids … Sometimes on weekdays we only get five, so you never know.”

Former Fort Collins resident Scott Lehman stumbled across the theater while walking around town with his children.

“This wasn’t here when I lived in Fort Collins,” Lehman said. “It’s wonderful!”

Of course, morning cartoons just wouldn’t be the same without some cereal. With this in mind, the Lyric stocks an all-you-can-eat cereal bar. For just $5, viewers can enjoy bowl after bowl to complete the nostalgic experience.

The Lyric Cinema Cafe is located at 300 E. Mountain Ave. in Old Town.

With no cost and a collection that could impress Walt Disney himself, attending morning cartoons at the Lyric is a unique and affordable experience.

“(You) can’t find it anywhere else,” Zweifel said.

Collegian Staff Reporter Erick Plattner can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com.