I must thank all of you who tweeted, twitpic’d, and called me during the day. Special thanks to Matt Daniel and Gordon Lamb who supplied info and photos during the events. Sorry the last post was so rushed but I needed to get the info out. This is new media reporting guys, and we couldn’t do it without you! UPDATES TO COME AS NEWS BREAKS.
A passerby called 911 around 7 a.m. because he saw smoke coming out of the doors. Several groups of firefighters were called in to battle the blaze. The heat was extremely intense and could be felt nearly a block away. The smoke could be seen from across town.
Since there’s an electrical housing near the Theatre, they shut off electricity to downtown (which more than likely included REM’s offices as well as my own office building). Power was restored in the afternoon. Certain streets will remain closed until Sunday.
The roof collapsed soon afterwards. The firefighters managed to save the front of the building but the inside is absoultely destroyed. The owner, Wil Greene, intends to rebuild but figures the whole place a loss.
WHO IT MESSES UP
Perpetual Groove was slated to play there tonight and has moved to the Classic Center on Saturday night, devoting all the show’s proceeds to the Theatre and a dollar from every beer to the staff. The Athfest shows that were to take place inside have now been moved to the Morton Theatre, remaining at the same times.
I can’t stress how much that place means to all of us. It was a great large venue for bands like Dave Matthews Band and B.B. King but you’d probably know it best as the place where Shinny Happy People was filmed. Wil put his heart and soul into the venue for the last 5 years, remodeling the place as best he could. We’re all behind him and I’ll keep you updated on further plans for rebuilding.
Also of interest, it appears that there has been a large amount of requests from Athensmusic.net for Georgia Theatre shirts. Glad to see support out there.