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South Whitley, IN: Kent Theatre Destroyed in Fire on February 18, 2012

Posted on Monday, February 20th, 2012 and updated on Wednesday, March 21st, 2012 9:41 AM

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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.

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.

Crews did not have a cause for the fire.

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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