VIDEO: Historic San Francisco Bay Area Art Deco Theater Damaged In Fire

KCBS Radio Overnight News
June 06, 2020 - 7:41 am

A big Friday evening fire has heavily damaged the Old San Lorenzo Theater in San Lorenzo, California.

San Lorenzo resident Mary Cirimele told KCBS Radio she witnessed flames reaching the roof and iconic "Lorenzo" sign.

"There are three ladder trucks fighting this right now," Cirimele told KCBS Radio’s Patti Reising and Jeff Bell as she stood across the street. "Two have water on the roof right now."

The Alameda County Fire Department tweeted that more than 40 firefighters were on the scene. The fire started at about 5:30 p.m.

Firefighters continue to monitor for possible structural collapse in the 700-seat theater.

According to the theater’s website, the historic art deco facility opened in 1947 and "was the first theatre in northern California in which audience members could perform on-stage during screenings of the 'Rocky Horror Picture Show.'" It also claims to be the first theater in Northern California with fluorescent painted murals and black lights. The 73-year-old theater closed in 1982 and the non-profit organization Lorenzo Theater Foundation was formed in 1999 to work for its preservation and restoration.

The theater was designated as a California Historic Resource in 2001.

Firefighters battle a fire at the Old San Lorenzo Theater.
Photo credit Courtesy Mary Cirimele

No injuries were reported. No word on what started the fire.

The theater is located at 16080 Hesperian Blvd. in San Lorenzo.