Cumberland, Maryland (Virginia Avenue)
time of the accident there were about three hundred people in the theatre, and not one of them received a scratch. Except for the cries of several women in the audience when the floor began to fall, there was no confusion, but perfect order everywhere. The room became filled with a dense dust, caused by the plaster on the ceiling of the cellar being broken. However, the presence of mind of the moving picture machine operator probably saved a panic, for as soon as he saw what had happened, he promptly stopped the pictures and turned on the theatre lights, giving everyone enough light to make their way out. Order reigned supreme and people went out of the entrance of the theatre without any excitement. The Leader Theatre was on the first floor of the Odd Fellows building, owned by C. A. Feeser. Many men, including the owner, Mr. Feeser, and his employees, handled the situation coolly and it was through their work that the crowd escaped without injury. One of the most active young men in the work of carrying children out of the theatre was F. X. "Hotty" Spearman, a file clerk in the superintendent's office of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. He entered the building a number of times and carried people out who were unable to climb the sides of the floor. Exhausted, he was compelled to stop, and was taken home. The accident at the Leader Theatre caused considerable excitement in that neighborhood and at the Star Theatre just across the street, where a show was in progress. Manager Robert Fisher had just quieted a small panic among the audience who had been quickly apprised of the accident at the Leader by persons running in with "the news" and was going on with the second show when someone yelled in the door, "My God, where's my child?". This started a second panic and it was with considerable difficulty that he was able to quiet the audience. The second show was brought to a close
Miller, Herman J.
Mayor and Council, City of Cumberland
27 x 20 cms
Cumberland (Md.), history
Cumberland (Md.), 1700-1976