(MAPLEWOOD, NJ) -- On June 24, 1973, an arsonist set fire to the Up Stairs Lounge, a gay bar located on the edge of the French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana. For 43 years, the deadly fire was the “Largest Gay Mass Murder in U.S. History”. Despite its staggering historical significance, few people know about the crime. You can learn about it when Progressive Theater presents a free screening of Robert L Camina's Upstairs Inferno on June 12 at 7:00pm. The screening takes place at The Woodland in Maplewood.
Featuring interviews from survivors, witnesses and friends/families of victims, Upstairs Inferno is the most comprehensive and authoritative film about the nearly forgotten tragedy and its aftermath. However, the film isn't simply a stagnant exposition of facts. It brings humanity to the headlines by shining a light on the very painful effect the tragedy had on the people left behind.
The tragedy did not stop at the loss of lives. There were also the delayed injuries: lost jobs, fear, public ridicule and severed families. The devastation was compounded by the homophobic reactions and utter lack of concern by the general public, government and religious leaders. The fire permanently altered lives and was the root of many lifelong struggles.
Tickets are free of charge. Please reserve your seats online. In addition to the screening, Progressive Theater presents The View UpStairs by Max Vernon on June 25-26 at 7:30 at The Woodland in Maplewood. This musical takes a fictional approach to the 1973 arson attack on a gay club in New Orleans called the Up Stairs Lounge. For more information, click here.
The Woodland is located at 60 Woodland Road in Maplewood, New Jersey. This venue offers accessible parking and is a wheelchair accessible venue with wheelchair accessible seating available.