OLD LONDON THEATRE'S ROOF COLLAPSE CAUSE IDENTIFIED

Mar 24, 2014

By Michael Kramer

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Ancient cloth-and-plaster ties giving way lead to the partial ceiling collapse in London’s Apollo Theatre.

The accident injured approximately 80 audience members last December.

The Westminster Council says the principal cause of the collapse was the deterioration of the plaster-of-paris and cloth ties that were used to bind the timber frames – supporting the suspended ceiling.

They had been in place since the Apollo Theatre opened in 1901.

Seven people were seriously hurt and scores more were slightly injured when chunks of plaster and wood fell from the ceiling.

The Apollo is due to reopen Wednesday, with a protective deck installed under the ceiling.

And the council is sending advice to several dozen other London theatres and to the English Heritage agency – which oversees hundreds of historic buildings.

Many of London’s theatres date from the same Edwardian era as the Apollo.

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