62 years after fire interrupts movie, Flame Theatre gives second-chance showing

Staff at the historic Flame Theatre are tackling unfinished business. It dates back more than sixty years, when tragedy struck the then State Theater.

62 years after fire interrupts movie, Flame Theatre gives second-chance showing

WELLS, Minn. (KEYC) - Doors first opened in 1912. Today, it’s been a while since film fans could step into the city of Wells’ longstanding movie theater.

“Our last new-release movie was March 13 of last year,” city administrator CJ Holl said. “Essentially we’ve been closed since then.”

But this weekend, staff at the historic Flame Theatre tackles unfinished business. It dates back more than sixty years, when tragedy struck the venue, then called State Theater.

A massive fire ripped across part of downtown Wells in January of 1959, forcing guests out of the theater in the middle of a showing.

“The movie that was playing at the time? Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” Holl said.

When rebuilding the theater in 1960, city leaders held a contest for the public to rename it. That’s how they came up with The Flame.

“We thought this would be kind of a fun thing to do,” Holl said. “To keep the interest in the theater, and to bring back that movie that was showing that never finished its run.”

Flame Theater is showing Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Friday and Saturday night. You can reserve free tickets by phone: (507) 553-5713.

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