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|Home: BigScreen Journal - South Whitley, IN: Kent Theatre Destroyed in Fire on February 18, 2012|
WANE-TV reported that the Kent Theatre in South Whitley, Indiana was destroyed by a fire on Saturday, February 18, 2012:
State Road 5 in South Whitley is now back open after it was closed most of the day Saturday due to a fire at the Kent Theatre. The fire was ruled under control, but one department was still on the scene as of 7:45 p.m.
Whitley County dispatchers said the fire started around 11:30 a.m. and no injuries were reported.Crews did not have a cause for the fire.
The South Whitley fire spokesperson on the scene said because the ceilings are so high in the building, crews were having a hard time getting the fire under control. At one point, firefighters from three different departments were on the scene and two more were on standby.
Click the Read link below for the full article. The article mentions that the theater was being used as a church, but we do not have any information about when it last showed movies.
In a follow-up article on their web site, WANE-TV interviewed a woman who worked there when it opened July 3, 1947:
“When this was built I was 17. That was July 3, 1947 and the movie was $.35 and the popcorn was $.10,” said Thomson. “It's sad. My husband heard about it and got in the van. He didn't ask me to go. What he didn't know was, I was going to say no because I didn't want to see this burn.”
Moviegoers in the South Whitley area have to drive a little to get to a theater, but there are seven theaters within 20 miles.
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