Friday, April 7, 2017
6:30 PM at Pikes Peak MCC
1102 S. 21st St.
Suggested donation: $10
Discussion following the screening will be facilitated
by Dr. Jonelle Neighbor
Pikes Peak Metropolitan Community Church is proud to host a screening of the critically acclaimed documentary UPSTAIRS INFERNO. Robert Camina wrote, produced and directed the film.
We in MCC particularly care about this film because several members of MCC New Orleans were killed in the fire, including two clergy. You may also find information about the screening on our Facebook page. For more information, please contact Rev. Alycia Erickson.
UPSTAIRS INFERNO is a full length documentary about the 2nd largest gay mass murder in U.S. history. 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. For 43 years, the deadly fire was the “Largest Gay Mass Murder in U.S. history”. 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 on-camera interviews. The documentary also features interviews with historians and experts on the fire. Police reports, crime scene photographs, personal photographs, newspaper clippings and video clips from local news stations are also featured in the film.
The tragedy eliminated some beautiful people from our city and unfortunately, most people will neither care nor recognize the loss.
-Richard Hargrove, States-Item, June 30, 1973
With the assistance of narrator, CHRISTOPHER RICE (famed New Orleanian and New York Times best selling author), these emotional interviews tell the little known story about how this neighborhood bar became the notorious site of a horrific tragedy which would permanently alter their lives and the course of the gay rights movement in New Orleans.
UPSTAIRS INFERNO is different than any other project the public has ever seen about the fire!UPSTAIRS INFERNO reveals facts audiences have never heard and it uncovers long lost artifacts, interviews and archival footage few people have ever seen.