Carrie Rengers

Warren theater sign fire: real or special effect?

Wichitan Clinton Franey was leaving a showing of “The Jungle Book” at almost 11:30 Saturday night when something caught his attention on the Palace West Theatre sign.

“Well that’s a weird special effect,” he says he thought of the flames shooting out the top.

“Wait a minute,” he says he further thought. “That’s not supposed to happen.”

Sure enough, a few minutes later the Fire Department showed up.

“They put it out in, like a minute,” Franey says.

Theater owner Bill Warren didn’t hear about the fire until Monday when Have You Heard? called.

“I guess it was pretty minor,” he says.

He investigated and learned that some neon on the sign came loose and caught some plastic on fire.

“This is a new one for me,” Warren says.

He says signs are mostly metal and don’t generally burn.

“Even plastic doesn’t burn readily,” he says.

Then Warren saw the video, which Franey posted to Facebook.

While it’s pretty interesting – the fire actually does look like it possibly was supposed to be there – it wasn’t impressive to Warren.

“It’s not showbiz enough for me,” he says. “I’m used to special effects. I mean, it was OK.”

Warren says for him, the fire would need to be about 10 times greater.

“If you’re going to have something like that, it needs to be Hollywood spectacular.”

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers

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