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movie poster for The Wild Party, starring Clara Bow, plus newspaper clipping showing performances at Golden Gem

95 Years Ago
The May 23, 1929 Colorado Transcript reported some unwanted excitement at the Golden Gem movie theater. The previous Friday, during a showing of The Wild Party, starring Clara Bow, the projectionist “heard a snap and looked around in time to see the film flash into fire. In stopping the machine the two reels he was about to place on the other machine caught on fire.”

movie marquee on a 2-story brick building advertising Shirley Temple in Now and Forever
Golden Gem theater at 13th and Washington (now Red Silo coffee) - Golden History Museum Collection

The article reassuringly stated that projection booths were required by law to be fire proof, “…and even though an explosion occurred there would be no danger to the theater or theater goers.”

However, the article also mentioned that the projectionist had tossed the burning reels out of the booth into the lobby of the theater. Apparently it worked out OK.

Very little concern was shown among the audience but the show was shut down for the rest of the evening.
Colorado Transcript
– May 23, 1929

Thanks to the Golden History Museum for providing the online cache of historic Transcripts, and to the Golden Transcript for documenting our history since 1866!