On this day: The Knickerbocker Theatre collapse in 1922

Interior of Knickerbocker Theatre, Washington, DC, following roof collapse on January 28, 1922.

The Knickerbocker Storm, a blizzard that hit Washington D.C. in the United States for two days in 1922, led to the collapse of the Knickerbocker Theatre just after 9pm on the 28th of January.

Ninety-eight people were killed, and a further one hundred and thirty-three injured in the collapse.

The Knickerbocker Theatre from the outside after the collapse of the roof 1922 Washington D.C.

The tragedy was caused by snow gathering on the flat roof until it gave way under the strain. People who were there said they were given no warning (no sounds of the building straining under the weight, for example).

Get-Rich-Quick Wallingford (1921 film)

Get-Rich-Quick Wallingford

The silent film Get-Rich-Quick Wallingford (1921) was playing at the time it happened.

Both the theatre’s architect and its owner committed suicide in the years afterwards.

Knickerbocker Theatre in October 1917

The theatre in October, 1917.

The storm hit other areas of the United States, including heavy snowfall in Maryland and Virginia. Temperatures stayed many degrees below freezing for much of the event.

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