Photo Courtesy: Envato Elements

Fire At Dutton’s Family Theater

Story by Jason Wert of the Branson Tri-Lakes News

The Dutton Family Theater on 76 Country Boulevard in Branson was damaged by a fire Wednesday, July 13.

Branson Fire Chief Ted Martin said firefighters discovered a completely burnt trash can next to the building, and indications flames then traveled upwards in a wooden chase and ignited a support beam. The fire then burned the ceiling of the lobby and through the roof. Firefighters contained the blaze when the fire reached that point.

The two-alarm fire was first reported around 7 p.m. when an employee of Abby’s Tourist Trap, located next door, saw smoke coming from the marquee area of the building. The Branson Fire Department arrived on the scene and began to battle the blaze before putting out a second alarm, receiving help from Western Taney County Fire Protection District and Southern Stone County Fire Protection District. 

Branson Fire Chief Ted Martin told Branson Tri-Lakes News excessive outdoor temperatures were the reason for the second alarm. The additional firefighters allowed the fire crews to rotate firefighters into the building, allowing the crews recovery time from the heat.

Timothy Dutton confirmed to Branson Tri-Lakes News the fire was contained to the upper portion of the theater, mostly in the marquee and roof areas of the box office and lobby. He said there was smoke damage throughout the rest of the theater.

“They isolated the fire to the upper part at first,” Dutton said. “There could be smoke damage, we don’t know, but they said there was no fire in the theater section.”

Dutton family members later said there was “significant damage” to the lobby area.

The theater was closed and no one was inside when the blaze broke out. The family had been on vacation and was returning for their first show in almost two weeks on Saturday night. The Saturday night show is canceled, but the family hopes to quickly resume shows.

“We’re brainstorming ways to get the show back up and running,” Jessica Dutton posted on Facebook.

Various family members expressed their thanks on social media to the firefighters for their efforts and also other theaters who have offered assistance.

The official cause of the fire is still under investigation, but preliminary indications are the fire began in the outside trash can.