READY TO ROLL AT PATERSON RIVERSIDE STATION - PHOTO BY DR. THOMAS DAYSPRING

READY TO ROLL AT PATERSON RIVERSIDE STATION - PHOTO BY DR. THOMAS DAYSPRING

Monday, June 23, 2008

OPERA HOUSE - 1914

UPDATED SEPT. 2016

Photos: patersonfirehistory. com,  www.lambertcastle.org
On Jan. 6, 1914, a three-alarm fire destroyed the Paterson Opera House, injuring several firefighters.

Box 52 at Main and Smith streets was struck at 1 a.m.

Flames were ``discovered burning briskly back of the stage,'' according to The New York Times.

``All available firefighting apparatus of Paterson was called out to fight the flames, which for a time threatened to wipe out an entire business block ... There was a panic among the Italians living in the neighboring tenements, and many were rescued scantily clad.''

The Opera House was considered a ``vanity house,'' according to the web site of the Passaic County Historical Society.

`` It was owned, supported, managed and patronized by the rising business and managerial classes of Paterson ... The theatre reviewer of the Daily Press concerned himself more with a description of the audience than with the presentation on stage.''

In 1916, a movie house - the United States Theatre - opened on the site.