The Fire Hall
In the early 1980s, the #1 Fire Hall in Downtown
Grand Forks was purchased and renovated into
the 100 seat Fire Hall Theatre. The Theatre
has served as the home of the Community Theatre
In 1997, the region suffered through a terrible
flood, and as reported, ther was much concern
about the Theatre's ability to recover. With
over three feet of water in the building, "the
Fire Hall Theatre sustained substantial water
damage and some feared the building will be
condemned... a determination to be made 'later'
by the powers that be. As of May 5 that year,
the degree of damage to equipment, costumes,
etc. could not be determined because the site
could not be visited. The Theatre had to cancel
performances and spring fundraisng efforts and
were short of current operating funds to use
for the recovery period." However, the
theatre re-opened in September of that year.
The Fire Hall underwent another major change
in the Spring of 2008, when the lobby was renovated.
"The Beginnings of the Fire Hall Theatre"
by Paul J. Schwartz
became aware of the existence of the Fire Hall
at a cast party at Fanny Gershman's house, in
October, 1981. Fanny, the widow of Grand Forks'
most successful "bottle shop" owner Happy Harry
Gershman, was an active board member and generous
hostess, who graciously opened her home for
parties and fundraising events.
At this particular
party, given for the cast and crew of 6 Rms
Riv Vu, I was sitting at some distance from
a group dominated by former GGFCT Board Treasurer
Rick Winant, which was discussing the Fire Hall,
inspired by a Chris Jacobs editorial in the
local weekly chronicle.
In that editorial,
Chris, who had an active interest in promoting
the arts in Grand Forks, suggested that the
city should, instead of demolishing the no longer
needed fire hall next to City Hall, turn it
into an arts center..."
the complete story [PDF]