A major fire started this morning (Fri. June 19) at the Georgia Theatre in Athens, Georgia. One of the premiere live music halls in the Southeast, the longtime Athens landmark, located at the corner of Clayton and Lumpkin Streets, regularly booked top-selling national acts as well as popular local and regional bands. Recent reports from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the WSB Channel 2 Action News state that blaze likely started around 7 a.m. Friday morning. Major damage is likely.

Athens-Clarke County fire dispatchers reported the fire as a major fire and witnesses told Channel 2 Action News the theater was “fully engulfed in flames.” The daily paper Athens Banner-Herald posted a photo from the scene here.

The Georgia Theatre has been one of the major live music venues in Athens for decades. It sported a large stage and hall, a spacious balcony, and two bar areas. R.E.M., Widespread Panic, the Drive-By Truckers, Vic Chesnutt, and many, many Athens greats have performed here over the years.

In a late-morning update, the AJC posted a statement from Athens-Clarke County Fire Chief Chuck Gulley, who said the fire was contained but that the roof of the building had collapsed. He said there was no evidence that anyone was in the building when the fire broke out around 7 a.m. Gulley added that the cause of the fire had not been determined. “It may be a while before we know,” he said.

Stay cool. Support City Paper.

City Paper has been bringing the best news, food, arts, music and event coverage to the Holy City since 1997. Support our continued efforts to highlight the best of Charleston with a one-time donation or become a member of the City Paper Club.