Lyric Cinema Cafe turns 10 and the future is bright

Sarah Ehrlich

The Lyric Cinema Cafe has been serving up beer, food and independent films in an establishment with a local feel for the last 10 years.

“I have a passion of creating an experience,” said General Manager Michael Putlack. “The Lyric is really into having different events so that it is more than just a place to go watch a movie. But at the same time, you want to go there to watch a movie with a bunch of people who really get into it. A movie theater experience is what we are trying to sell people.”

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To the employees of the Lyric, this 10-year mark means a town like Fort Collins wants to keep them around. A large amount of small businesses fail within the first five or 10 years. Putlack is happy the Lyric beat the odds so they can continue to add value to the community.

“We want to be the theater that is artsy and relatable,” Putlack said. “It’s easy to lose personal connections in big theaters, which is why we want to stay so connected with the community. We want the Lyric to be a place where you can walk in and bullshit about new movies with the workers.”

Besides movies, the Lyric enjoys putting on creative events such as Story Swap, a bi-monthly story telling event open to the community. The first will be June 1 at 7 p.m. with a theme of “Everything is Temporary,” a sort of tribute to the Lyric’s temporary location in the Masonic Temple of Fort Collins.

With 10 years down, you may be wondering what is the next 10 years going to look like for the Lyric?

The new location, said to be finished in September, will be able to serve a larger audience between four screens, one being outside specifically for “bike-in movies” and will continue to be “Fort Collins and Colorado minded.” The attached restaurant has a goal of having the menu be 70 percent local.

“The next couple of years will be focused on getting our new location running like clockwork,” Putlack said. “We know it is going to be a challenge, but we want to run things where you don’t think twice and it just comes naturally.”

After establishing the new location, Putlack hopes the Lyric can start becoming a content producer. The theater has already produced a successful feature-length film called “Wednesday,” which grossed $20,000. The production branch of the Lyric hopes to fund local filmmakers and their ideas and to provide a place where they can see their work on a big screen.

Although the Lyric is in between places of business working on exciting plans, they are still open, showing independent films at their 225 West Oak St. location. More information and ticket sales are found at lyriccinemacafe.com

Collegian reporter Sarah Ehrlich can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com and on Twitter @SarahEhrlich96.