Iroquois Theatre Disaster Remembered
CHICAGO, IL — On the hundredth anniversary yesterday of the blaze that killed more than 600 people at the Iroquois Theatre in Chicago’s Loop area, a plaque was unveiled by Chicago Fire Commissioner James Joyce and alderman Ed Burke. The plaque memorializes the Iroquois tragedy, which killed more than twice as many as the city’s Great Fire of 1871.
Almost 1800 were packed into the newly-opened theater at Randolph and Dearborn Streets to see a matinee show, “Mr Bluebeard”, when a spotlight over the stage placed to close to a curtain caused the cloth to ignite, and within minutes, the fire was roaring out of control, causing patrons to panic.
A plaque placed inside the building that replaced the Iroquois (later reopened as the Colonial), the Oriental Theatre, was later removed and placed in storage. This plaque was also rededicated yesterday at the ceremony at the Oriental/Ford Center. “The horrible events which unfolded here can never be lost in history,” said Alderman Burke.
More details can be found in a report on the ABC News 7 site.