Fire damages Silverton theater

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SILVERTON, Ore. (AP) -- A Willamette Valley theater that celebrated its 75th anniversary last year has been damaged by fire.

Silverton Mayor Stu Rasmussen, one of the co-owners of the Palace Theater, says he suspects a popcorn machine is to blame for the fire Wednesday morning.

But the Salem Statesman Journal reports (http://stjr.nl/HBYrPh ) that fire officials haven't confirmed a cause yet. The fire department says the front of the building was heavily damaged, and the interior suffered moderate to extensive smoke damage.

Rasmussen says he and his business partner spent $80,000 recently to improve the theater, including a digital projector and audio system.

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Information from: Statesman Journal, http://www.statesmanjournal.com