Upstairs Inferno with Filmmaker Robert Camina

UPSTAIRS INFERNO is a full length film documenting the nearly forgotten Up Stairs Lounge arson: an event that remained the “Largest Gay Mass Murder in U.S. History” for 43 years. 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. Despite the staggering historical significance, few people know about the tragedy.

Thirty-two people were killed and some bodies were never identified. One-third of the New Orleans chapter of the Metropolitan Community Church were killed in the blaze, including two clergy. The primary suspect was never charged with the crime. 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.

UPSTAIRS INFERNO is the most comprehensive, compassionate and authoritative film about the fire and its aftermath. However, UPSTAIRS INFERNO isn’t simply a stagnant exposition of facts. UPSTAIRS INFERNO pulls humanity into the headlines by shining a light on the very painful effect the tragedy had on survivors, witnesses and loved ones. Their interviews are gut wrenching, yet insightful. Some of the people interviewed in the film haven’t publicly discussed the fire until now, especially on camera. Many granted the production exclusive interviews.

In addition, UPSTAIRS INFERNO features interviews with historians and experts on the fire. Police reports, crime scene photographs, personal photographs, newspaper clippings and long lost artifacts, interviews and archival news footage are prominently featured in the film.

Filmmaker Robert Camina will be joining us for a post show discussion and Q/A. Admission $16

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Date(s) - Fri, Aug 18, 2017
8:00 pm

Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum
734 Marin St, Vallejo

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Tags History, LGBT

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