On June 24, 1973, an arsonist set fire to the upstairs lounge, a bar located on the edge of the French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana. For 43 years, the deadly fire was the “largest gay mass murder in U.S. history”. Despite the staggering historical significance, few people know about the tragedy. Thirty-two people were killed, and some bodies were never identified. One-third of the New Orleans chapter of The Metropolitan Community Church were killed in the blaze, including two clergy. The primary suspect was never charged with the crime. The tragedy did not stop at the loss of lives. There were also the delayed injuries; lost jobs, fear, public ridicule and severed families. The devastation was compounded by the homophobic reactions and utter lack of concern by the general public, government and religious leaders. The fire permanently altered lives and was the root of many lifelong struggles.
Narrated By: Christopher Rice (New York Times Best Selling Author)
“A painful, yet beautiful vignette.” – Examiner.com
“This film memorializes the victims and perfectly preserves an almost list, but incredibly important chapter in gay and lesbian history and should not be missed.” – Pop Culture Beast
“Like so much of our history, ‘Upstairs Inferno’ evokes anger and tears, and determination.” -Georgia Voice