Community rallying to help save fire-damaged Senate Theatre

posted by CSWalczak on January 21, 2011 at 7:52 am

ELSBERRY, MO — Since a fire that started in in a neighboring business seriously damaged the Senate Theatre earlier this month, the surrounding community has generously responded with a fund-raising effort and other shows of support. It’s not the first time that fire has struck the community landmark; a similar disaster occurred in 1937.

Reller is spearheading fund-raising efforts to get the theater running again, because insurance will cover only part of the damage. (For more information e-mail Reller at .)

The Senate is in a buff-bricked storefront on Broadway in the center of Elsberry’s business district, and it has more than sentimental value.

Sarah Hunt, who runs the town library, said records show the building has been around for 99 years and has been a theater for the majority of that time. The fire on Jan. 5 was the third time the building burned. After a blaze in 1937, which started in the film booth, owner C.W. Cannon entered the building, collapsed and died.

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