The fire that put the theater out of business came on May 19, 1978; the November 20 fire caused a little more damage to the ruins. The May 19th fire caused extensive damage to the theatre and Daniel Boone Hotel. Guests in the hotel were evacuated. The 70 yr old Park was having fire code violation problems. The owner was arrested for arson!
Additional research shows: From an issue of the Reading Eagle with a story on the demise of the theater on Page 1 and some of its history on Page 3. The fire that put the theater out of business came on May 19, 1978; the November 20 fire mentioned in the description just caused a little more damage to the ruins. As for James Maurer, per the story he was operating the theater as a burlesque house in 1964, when he and two strippers were arrested in a raid. Sometime between 1974 and 1976 he bought the theater building; he is reported to have leased it to a Trenton, New Jersey company in September 1976, leading to the return of burlesque at the Park. However, Maurer must have still been involved in the operation of the theater as he was arrested in another raid in January 1977.
On May 3, 1978, the city declared the theater and the adjoining Daniel Boone Hotel unfit for human habitation. Maurer appealed the ruling and both businesses stayed open, but the fire rendered the appeal moot. Excellent for altered arts or repurpose or fire fighter collectible. CONDITION : Scroll FULL DESCRIPTION to see MORE PHOTOS. Missing glass over pull tab and the tab that says "pull" is not on the tab that remains.
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