A small fire at the Belfry Theatre last Friday night has resulted in the cancellation of at least one upcoming rental performance and caused at least $10,000 in damages.
A wiring issue in the theatre’s dimmer room – the electrical room that supplies lighting controls, breakers and dimmers – caused the fire and prompted the sprinkler system to turn on.
“The dimmer racks and the control unit took the brunt of the water damage,” said production manager Alex Currie. “Luckily the sprinklers kicked in pretty early, but they ran awhile before the fire department arrived so the extent of damage is mostly from water rather than fire.”
The total extent of damages won’t be known until contractors have assessed the theatre’s wiring damage, he added, and until the electrical equipment is approved to be turned back on to see if it’s still working.
“It’s a pretty black space right now.”
The Belfry Theatre won’t lose a lot of revenue, however, because it doesn’t have any large productions scheduled for the next few months.
“Luckily we closed our season last week,” Currie said. “We have some rentals in the next couple weeks and we already had to cancel one. We’re trying to devise a plan to piece together something small for the next shows.”
The theatre was supposed to host Burlesque and Beyond, but had to cancel due to the fire. The company usually has 96 dimmers, but 24 were kept in a different room from the fire and Currie is hopeful they can put together a small lighting plan for the next scheduled rental performance, Hot Pink, a show by the Cheesecake Burlesque Revue scheduled for Saturday (May 26).
“In the end, we’re just very lucky because no one was hurt,” he said.