Friday, June 19, 2009

Fire heavily damages Georgia Theatre

Today is a sad day for the people of Athens and music lovers everywhere! This morning a fire broke out and heavily damaged the historic Georgia Theatre in downtown Athens. Firefighters were called at about 7 a.m. to the theatre, located at the corner of North Lumpkin and West Clayton streets in the heart of downtown Athens. Within an hour, the roof on the historic building had partially collapsed.
No one was in the building when the fire broke out, said I.B George, chief of the Athens-Clarke Fire Department. "It appeared to have started on the second floor and broke through the roof shortly thereafter," George said this morning. "We're in defensive mode now. It's hard to say if they'll be able to rebuild. There is at least going to be extensive damage." But early reports are stating that the exterior of the building will be intact and a rebuild could be possible.
I, along with most people who have spent any time in Athens, have seen a lot of great bands play in this incredible venue. Of course all of the great Athens bands have played there (REM, Widespread Panic, B-52’s, Pylon, etc) but also a lot of the big named bands played there when they were just starting out. Bands like The Dave Matthews Band, The Black Crowes, and The Red Hot Chile Peppers to name a few. I really hope they plan to rebuild and restore this historic building and music. Athens would not be the same without the Georgia Theatre!

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