Film Fire Stops Show in Theater

by Laurel | April 20th, 2010

I’d love to see a photo of the Strand — anyone have one?

April 20, 1931

Audience at Strand Files from Exits Without Trace of Panic and Flames Are Quickly Subdued.

Fire in the projection room of the Strand theater here last night stopped the show just before 7. A large audience filed from the exits without showing the slightest trace of panic. No one was injured.

The film being shown broke and caught fire, the blaze spreading quickly to the film case. The asbestos-lined projection room was immediately filled with smoke and flame. Bernard Goddard and Alphonse Robarge, the operators, hurried down the ladder to safety.

Fireman James Bradley of the central station, who was sitting in front of the fire house saw flames shooting out the windows that open from the booth on the street, and gave the alarm. Almost at the same time a phone alarm was sent in and two minutes later box 13 called the department.

The fire was put out by chemicals. The two picture machines were put out of commission, and tickets were given to the audience of the Strand to attend the Victory theater, which is under the same management.

As the booth is of asbestos as required by law there was no damage of consequence, except to the machine and films. Manager Canavan said tonight that it would be two or three days before the machines could be repaired.

A still alarm called the fire department at 1:17 this afternoon to a blazing telegraph pole on Northampton street near the J. L. Wyckoff residence. There was no damage.

From The Springfield Republican, page 4.

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