The Lyric Theatre to receive more funds from Blacksburg

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BLACKSBURG (WSLS 10) - The Lyric Theatre in downtown Blacksburg will receive more money this year to help it keep up with competition.

For the first time in almost 20 years, the theater asked the Blacksburg town council to bump its support up from $15,000 to $20,000.

Council unanimously agreed, stating that the Lyric serves as an economic driver for downtown.

The non-profit theater's ticket sales have seen a slight decline during the last three years since the opening of several other entertainment venues in town.

"This is the kind of venue that when you are recruiting people, high-tech people, people at a university, they want to see a diversity of programs where they can see arts and cultural programs," said the Lyric's director Susan Mattingly. "It's not just sort of your cookie cutter, big-box entertainment."

The theater is also preparing to replace its HVAC system over the next two years, which will cost an estimated $50,000.

The Lyric has been in its College Avenue location since 1930. It offers a number of art and music programs which are not considered to be financially self-sustaining.