A Tuesday evening fire has temporarily closed Southeast Portland’s popular Academy Theater, according to Portland Fire and Rescue.
Firefighters said the fire appeared to start before 6 p.m. on the theater’s roof, burning through a power line for the building. Damage was minimal and there were no injuries, but the theater will be closed until power is restored, Academy Theater wrote on its Facebook page. Southeast Stark Street was closed briefly while firefighters extinguished the fire.
The theater needs to replace a power main to restore power, which requires a building permit, one of the theater’s co-owners Heyward Stewart said. Acquiring a permit could take anywhere from four to seven days, but Stewart said it’s possible it could take less time.
The Academy Theater has a long history in the Montavilla neighborhood. It initially opened in 1948 on Southeast Stark Street, featuring seating for 300. The theater closed in the 1970s, and the shell was stripped of its screens and seats to make way for the offices of Nickel Ads. In 2006, the theater was restored using old photos to guide how its lobby and marquee should look.
A three-screen venue for second-run films, the theater’s restoration sparked an urban renaissance for the neighborhood.
— Abby Lynes