Main Hall of Bulgaria's Plovdiv Drama Theater Burns Down
The main stage of the Plovdiv Drama Theater was destroyed in a fire Thursday morning and the theater's new 2013/2014 season may be cancelled.
The tip-off for the fire was received at 8:14 am on Thursday by the local unit of the Interior's Chief Directorate Fire Safety and Civil Protection Directorate, according to reports of the Focus news agency.
By 9.30, the fire had been extinguished, but the flames had already inflicted serious damage.
The fire is believed to have been ignited right below the main stage.
The cause of the fire is still unclear.
Apart from all stage mechanisms, the fire also destroyed the proscenium, and the seats in the main hall were blackened with smoke.
The extent of damage to the in-built communication systems is still unclear.
The scenery was also destroyed.
The chamber hall of the theater, however, remained unaffected.
Under preliminary estimates of firefighters, repairing the damage may take 2-3 years.
The incident presents a very serious obstacle to the work of the Plovdiv Drama Theater company, as the traditional international theater festival "Scene of the Crossroads" is upcoming, and the new season may be cancelled altogether because the main stage will not be fit to use for a long period of time.
Ivan Totev, Mayor of the southern city of Plovdiv, and Bulgarian Culture Minister Petar Stoyanovich arrived at the spot to evaluate the situation.
As a backup plan, the actors may play at the Trade Union House, or the theater company may start functioning as a traveling theater company in order to generate revenues, according to dnevnik.bg.
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