Fire engulfs landmark Georgia Theatre in Athens

07/20/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

ATHENS, Ga. — Police say a major fire has erupted at the landmark Georgia Theatre in Athens that has been a venue for Georgia bands including REM, Widespread Panic and the B-52s.

Witnesses said the fire began around 7 a.m. Friday and was a major blaze. They said the converted movie theater would likely suffer major damage.

Former Athens Mayor Doc Eldridge said he saw a huge plume of black smoke when he arrived at his nearby office in the downtown business district.

In 2008 national touring acts such as the North Mississippi All-Stars, Galactic, Robert Earl Keen, Sister Hazel and Ghostface Killah played at the Georgia Theatre.

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Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, http://www.ajc.com

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