Georgia Theatre Catches Fire in Athens

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According to various reports on Twitter, Athens, Ga.'s historic Georgia Theatre caught fire around 7:00 a.m. EST this morning. Although a cause for the fire has yet to be named, the Atlanta-Journal Constitution reports that witnesses said the fire was "a major blaze and that the theater would likely suffer major damages." Atlanta's 11 Alive News also reports out of order traffic lights, visible smoke from miles away and "as many as 4 ladder trucks" currently fighting the flames.

In an update to their original story, the AJC spoke with former Athens mayor Doc Eldridge about the fire. “The silver lining is it’s not a Rhode Island situation,” he told the paper, in reference to the 2003 fire that killed 100 people at a Great White show in West Warwick, R.I. “I don’t think there are any injuries.” The Georgia Theatre has been home to countless shows from notable Athens acts such as R.E.M., Pylon, The B-52s and Drive-By Truckers, as well as myriad national touring acts. The venue was set to host several bands at next weekend's AthFest.

Update (11:30 a.m.): Reader Alyssa De Hayes sent Paste several photos from the scene of the fire.

Related links:
News: AthFest Announces Dates, Lineup
Georgia Theatre updates on Twitter

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“It’s definitely a piece of Athens history,” Eldridge said. “Since I was a child, we went there to see pictures and it’s been a music venue since the 1970s.”