Historical Details

Fire: Garden Theatre Threatened by Flames

Courtesy of The Lusk Herald-Standard, 11/01/1923


Flames Threaten to Destroy Garden Theatre When Film Explodes

Operator’s Booth, With All Contents, is Totally wrecked; Loss is about $5,000

Lusk’s motion picture house, the Garden theatre, where many local and
nearby residents have spent many and enjoyable afternoon or evening, is
closed—for the present, at least.

This was caused by fire, which originated in the operator’s booth
last Sunday afternoon, and which for a time threatened to destroy the
entire Faust building. Quick action on the part of the local fire
fighters, held the blaze to the operator’s room, and aside from smoke
and water, this was the only section of the theatre that was materially

The origin of the blaze is a complete mystery to William Delahoyde,
manager of the house. According to G.W. Lumbard, the operator, the film
which exploded and created this loss had not been removed from its
container—a galvanized iron film box. The flames burst forth at about
2:10 o’clock, just prior to the starting of the matinee program. Mr.
Lumbard had not even lit the machine and the absence of a light of any
nature in the booth makes the explosion more mysterious.

The box contained 10,000 feet of film and this was a total loss. It
was valued at $600. The booth which was also completely destroyed,
involved a loss of about $3,000. Other damage to the theater by smoke
and water will bring the entire loss to between $4,000 and $5,000, it is

There were but few patrons in the building at the time, it being half
an hour or so before the program was to have started. These were mostly
children and they were escorted to safety before the building had
filled with smoke. The firemen made short work of the flames, but during
their work, many of them were seen “coming out for air,” their eyes
filled with tears brought by the smoke of the burning film.

The theatre will be closed pending the adjusting of the loss by
insurance men, but it is hoped that it will be only a short time until
the Garden will again throw open its doors to movie fans of this

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