The PIX Theater, a nearby resale shop and apartments went up in flames Tuesday evening in downtown Lapeer.
There are no reports of injuries. Firefighters were able to douse the soaring flames but not before the theater sustained severe damage.
The PIX Theater is on West Nepessing Street near North Court Street across the street from Dragon Karate School. About 20 or 25 people had to be evacuated from nearby businesses and homes.
The fire initially started in an apartment in the building next to the theater. The flames quickly spread to the neighboring apartments and businesses.
"Within 3 minutes it was through the roof," said Lapeer Assistant Fire Chief James Muxlow. "And at that time I knew we had a pretty good fire going."
PIX Theater has extensive history
According to its website, the PIX Theater's operation in downtown Lapeer started way back in 1914. It has an art deco facade and marquee.
The theater underwent a big renovation and reopened in 1997. It is managed by a non profit group, PIX Arts Council.