Forum Theatre Says Closing is Just Temporary

March 8, 2005--Posted 5:00 pm CST

Jonesboro, AR--Officials say the surprise closing of the Forum Theatre last week in Jonesboro was due to a sub par fire code inspection.  In the report obtained by K8 News, several potential problems are outlined.  Problems include faulty wiring, blocked exits, extension chords being used as permanent outlets, and missing covers for breaker boxes and junction boxes.  There were also parking violations noted in front of areas needed in case of a fire and someone smoking in an non-smoking area.

“Some of the issues are pretty easy to fix,” Jonesboro Fire Marshal Leonard Jadrich said.  “But there are others that I would think are a little more complicated to fix.”  This may explain why some of the buildings problems have gone unfixed for more than five years.  Things like a faulty or nonworking fire alarm, an old and untested sprinkler system, and lack of doors could cost thousands to fix.  Those costs will fall on the building’s owner, the city of Jonesboro.

A second inspection report obtained by K8 News shows the same problems existed more than five years ago.  Jadrich adding he handed over the report to Mayor Hubert Brodell personally.  “It is basically the same report I have been giving since I have been Fire Marshal.” Jadrich said.  “The difference now is we are under leadership who is concerned.”  Jadrich insists the matter is very serious.  In the 1999 report he wrote, “There is an extreme life safety problem which exists at the Forum today which must be corrected.”

Mayor Formon was not available for comment.  The Forum manager was also out of town.  As of right now the Forum is expected to stay closed until solutions to the problems are known.  Officials associated with the Forum hope to reopen in weeks but Jadrich remains skeptical.