Harness Roofing Brings New Life to Historic Arkansas Theater

Lyric Theater

The Historic Lyric Theater was built in 1929 and was purchased by the Ozarks Arts Council in the 1980s.

Built in 1929, the Historic Lyric Theater, Harrison, Ark., has long served as a cultural center for its community. It was purchased in the late 1980s by the Ozarks Arts Council, who transformed the building into a venue for school events, musical events, theater workshops, children’s plays, performances by the local community college and events for the community’s veterans.

The Ozarks Arts Council did many upgrades to the building to bring it up to code. However, they were unable to finance a much needed replacement of its failing roof system.

In 2013, the condition of the roof was so bad, patrons were forced to move to seats in the theater where the roof was not leaking so rain would not pour on them, the interior ceiling had begun to sag and many times the operations manager had to drive to the theater to place trash cans, mop buckets and any other available receptacle to catch leaking water.

Harness Roofing 1 - Copy

Harness Roofing replaced the theater’s failing roof system in September 2014.

NRCA member Harrison-based Harness Roofing, Inc. was able to provide temporary fixes to the roof, but a complete roof replacement was desperately needed. Despite a capital fundraising campaign to replace the roof, the money was not coming in quick enough.

“Without replacing the roof we were in danger of losing our beloved theater to Mother Nature,” says Vive Allen, operation manager at the Ozarks Arts Council and the Historic Lyric Theater.

Just when it seemed that all hope was lost, in September 2014, Roger and Patty Harness, owners of Harness Roofing stepped forward and said they would make the new roof possible for the theater.Harness Roofing 2 - Copy

The replacement included: removing existing flashings and installing a surface protection mat, installing a new roof system and wind vents, and installed a new roof hatch and flashings. In addition, the roof can now be accessed more easily and safely.

“They have given us a roof and made sure we will have no issues for years to come,” Allen says. “We are humbled by the compassion and love they have shown us and their community.”

To learn more about National Roofing Week and to share the good deeds of the roofing industry click here.

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