Richmond, VA Theatre Fire, Dec 1811

Etching of the Disaster

Richmond, Virginia
An etching showing the Theatre Fire of December 26, 1811

Theatre in Richmond, Va.
Date: December 26, 1811.

Time of fire: During the last act of the evening performance.
Number of people in audience: About 600.

Cause of fire: Careless hoisting of a stage chandelier with lighted candles, whereby a border became ignited.

Panic, jam at exits.

Number of victims: Seventy persons killed, many injured.

No data available as to location, plan, construction, and equipment.

Twelve Prominent Theatre Fire Calamities of this Century [1800s] from Theatre Fires and Panics: Their Causes and Prevention, New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1896, page 12

Read an in depth article about the fire - including the names of the victims (below)