Queer Movie Night to Discuss “Upstairs Inferno (2015)”

(Graphic by Elijah Janka)

Monday, July 26, 7-8:30 p.m.

Currently meeting on the Zoom platform.

Zoom Link for Queer Movie Night:


Introductory essay by Johnny Townsend:

Upstairs Inferno Reveals Tragic, Almost-Forgotten LGBTQ History

On the morning of Monday, June 25, 1973, I looked at the front page of the Times-Picayune, New Orleans’ leading newspaper, and saw a photo that changed my life. A man was looking upward in horror, crying. Other photos showed me why. A brown leather shoe and part of a leg protruded out of a barred window, the rest of the man still inside burned. A few feet away were the charred head and arms of another man who’d died halfway out a window. 

Only eleven years old at the time, it wasn’t until I came out in my mid-twenties that I learned the Upstairs Lounge was a gay bar. Wanting to learn more, I kept researching until I realized I had gathered enough material for the first book on the fire. Many years later, I was an associate producer on the documentary, Upstairs Inferno. While my book and the two that followed decades later all offer material not found elsewhere, this documentary offers the fastest in-depth look at an important moment in LGBTQ history.


See Queer Movie Night for more information and to learn where to view the film.

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