100-year-old Miramar Theatre suffers fire damage

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The historic Miramar Theatre on Milwaukee's east side suffered smoke and fire damage after an electrical fire Thursday, July 4th.

"We had an electrical fire in our office basement that basically didn't burn like flames of fire, but it had heat and just lots of smoke, and we had the whole place filled up with smoke," said owner William Stace.

The acrid smell of smoke lingers in the theatre and soot is covering everything from the chairs, to the curtains and the stage.

"We have to get the smell out. Basically the odor is the problem -- and we have to clean all the seats off," said Stace.

Stace said the restoration is better than rebuilding, however the process is just beginning and booked shows are losing their venue.

"I've spent most every day of the week here for the last couple years," said Pinkerton Xyloma of the Dead Man's Carnival. "We always have a packed house."

While the theatre is being restored, Xyloma is forced to temporarily take his show on the road.

"We're going to be relocating the show tomorrow. We're talking to a couple venues," said Xyloma.

Stace is working with other venues in the area to accomodate the artists scheduled to perform in the Miramar. He vows to bring the theatre back to its glory and is already working with a restoration company to get the process started as early as Monday, July 8th.

"When I was here by myself, I kissed the building. I kissed one of the walls and said 'don't worry baby, we'll have you back,'" said Stace.