PARMA, Ohio - Investigators and insurance agents were on scene Saturday after fire broke out inside the iconic Parma Theatre Friday evening.
According to Parma Fire officials, damages are estimated around $750,000 and officials say the fire at 5826 Ridge Road remains under investigation.
The historic theater located on Ridge Road opened in 1936 and had recently shut down due to lack of funding after business dropped off amongst other issues.
Saturday morning, customers of Parma Tailoring and Alterations directly connected to the theater, swarmed the store checking on their articles of clothing.
One woman, too emotional to speak, cried and hugged tailor shop owner, Dorina Fodor, after learning her wedding gown was not destroyed. "Thank you Dorina," the woman sobbed.
It was a busy day for Fodor, who worked as quickly as possible to get several gowns to the dry cleaners, six of which were needed for the very same night.
"I am deeply, deeply feeling so sorry because, it's not about the money. It's about the relationship with the customer," said Fodor.
Fodor told NewsChannel5 none of the gowns were destroyed, but they were damaged by smoke from the fire next door.
As firefighters worked to put out flames Friday, Foder was seen by NewsChannel5 reporter Paul Kiska, throwing gowns out of her store-front window afraid her shop would also catch fire.
"At one point I was choking," said Fodor, "I realized the third trip that I made inside that I cannot go in anymore."
Parma Tailoring and Alterations, Fodor told us, is the first business she ever opened. She also said she has been next to the historic Parma Theatre for about 11 years now.
As she showed NewsChannel5 the damage, her parents helped to pack-up many of the dresses needed immediately, so they could take them to nearby dry cleaners.
A local dry cleaner business owner told NewsChannel5 depending on the type of gown, it could cost up to $135 dollars for one to be cleaned. The business owner also said it normally takes about one week to clean a wedding gown.
Fodor said she had about six formal gowns and dresses that had to be cleaned right away.
"I feel really bad. These are wedding dresses, formal dresses and they [the customers] paid a lot of money for them... and obviously, especially a wedding dress that was passed down from mom to daughter, that has a lot of sentimental value."
Fodor doesn't know what the final cost will be but said she will have to dry clean each and every garment in the store.
There was also an Indian Food Shop to the opposite side of the theatre, but the damage there is unknown at this time.
Parma Fire Department spokesman Doug Turner said 22 firefighters, as well as crews from Brooklyn and Parma Heights, put out the fire within an hour. The fire was contained to the theater lobby, Turner said.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation this weekend.
[PHOTO GALLERY: Parma Theatre fire 5.wews.com/fmpOn ]
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