Fire Curtain For Free?

posted by Patrick Crowley on May 6, 2005 at 5:22 am

Jim Rankin sent us details about a vintage fire curtain that’s available:

Date: Wed, 4 May 2005 20:57:57 EDT

From: (President, Theatre Historical Society,

Subject: Anyone need a vintage FIRE CURTAIN?

The ULTIMATE collectors item! Tisha Sheldon, one of our friends at the League of Historic American Theatres, has asked if we could send this information on to our NEWSFLASH members.

Please feel free to pass this on to your personal forward list as well. An opportunity like this does NOT come along every day!

Contact Mr. Artillo directly if you are interested.

We are currently converting the “Grand Theatre” in Bristol PA into residential condominiums and would like to see the original curtain preserved if possible rather that destroyed. If any of your members are interested feel free to have them contact me with any questions.

I have attached the best photos I could get due to the construction [Yahoo Groups hosts the Society’s NewsFlash, and Yahoo will not permit photos to be included. Apparently, the photos showed a curtain painted with a scenic of some kind, but you will have to call the man listed below for such details].

Chuck Artillio

Chuck Artillio Keystone Redevelopment Group
420 Mill St. Bristol PA 19007;
voice: 215-781-0799;
fax: 215-781-0959.

Comments (7)

William on May 6, 2005 at 11:08 am

That fire curtain might cost a fortune to remove and handle because of the Asbestos, thats in it.

Trolleyguy on May 6, 2005 at 4:02 pm

My sentiments exactly. It would appear that by giving it away, they are trying to avoid a potential liability issue and the attendant costs connected with disposal.

JimRankin on May 6, 2005 at 4:37 pm

Maybe they just appreciate its scenic/historic value, and are not aware of any hazard involved. Accoreding to the book ENVIRONMENTAL OVERKILL, the type of asbestos used in such is NOT injurious to people. And if it is desireable, its backside could be sprayed with a paint to seal in any fibers.

William on May 6, 2005 at 4:54 pm

Well a lot of the Fox West Coast houses used an asbestos type of wall treatment for sound and painted murals on them. Years later during remodels and razing they had to have companies that deal with asbestos removal do the jobs. Any time a theatre chain or company had asbestos types fireproofing, tiles, wall treatments. They had to post notices on site that there was cancer causing material on site for their employees. Once I got a notice when I worked at the ABC Screening Room in Century City, California. That the tiles in the booth were made of asbestos.
With a big fire curtain, you would have to roll it up like a rug in it’s removal. In doing that no matter how you seal it, fibers are going to brake free from it.
No matter how you look at it that free curtain is going to cost you a lot of money in just handling it.

David Wodeyla
David Wodeyla on May 6, 2005 at 7:30 pm

A picture of the curtain would be nice. I accidently emailed the Theatre Historical Society President with a request for one…ooops, here comes an invoice!

JimRankin on May 7, 2005 at 4:17 am

Dave Wodeyla will not necessarily get an invoice for a photo from THSA, since if he did not ORDER a photo, it is likely that they will simply send him a xerox of one for him to decide if he wants to pay for a glossy photo.

AS to the asbestos fears, we may all be barking up the wrong tree; while the notice does say a “vintage” fire curtain, it may not be asbestos. Many times the word “steel” is used for a fire curtain term, since many such ‘curtains’ were in fact sheets of lapped steel. It might pay to ask.

David Wodeyla
David Wodeyla on May 7, 2005 at 5:55 am

I think my tongue was clearly in cheek about an invoice. However, I won’t be surprised if I get a request for a $15 research fee. Here’s one of those places where a smilie and a wink would go.

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