1967 MGM Vault fire

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1967 MGM Vault fire
Date 13 May 1967 (1967-05-13)
Location Culver City, California
Cause nitrate film fire in vault #7
Outcome destruction of archived Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (Metro Pictures, Goldwyn Pictures) silent films
Deaths unknown
Injuries unknown

The 1967 MGM Vault fire was a major fire that erupted on Saturday, May 13, 1967 in Vault #7 at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's film studio in Culver City, California.

This fire was responsible for the loss of most of the silent films produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer before 1933. Also destroyed were negatives and films of several other studios. It brought attention to the potential for decaying nitrate film to spontaneously ignite, and changed the focus of film preservation efforts to include a greater focus on fire safety.


An electrical fire burned the vault and destroyed hundreds of silent films, including The Black Butterfly, The Divorcee, A Blind Bargain, The Big City, The Divine Woman, London After Midnight and The Actress, most famously.[1]

Early silent/talkies such as the Technicolor scenes of The Toll of the Sea (later restored), So This Is Marriage?, The Broadway Melody, Chasing Rainbows, The Rogue Song, the uncut version of the Laurel and Hardy short Blotto, and the silent Our Gang shorts from 1927-1929 were also destroyed in the fire. The early Three Stooges musical short Hello Pop! was widely believed to have been among the casualties, but has turned up in a private collection in Australia, with Warner Bros. (the current rights holder to the majority of the pre-May 1986 MGM library through Turner Entertainment) currently in the process of restoring the film for a public release.[2]

Also destroyed in the fire were many of the original film prints of pre-1951 MGM cartoons, most notably the Tom and Jerry series and Tex Avery shorts, leaving only the backup prints left (usually the altered reissue prints).

It also destroyed pre-1924 films made by MGM's predecessors Metro Pictures, Goldwyn Pictures and Louis B. Mayer Pictures.


  1. ^ "Vault and Nitrate Fires - A History". TCM.com. Retrieved December 26, 2009. 
  2. ^ Maltin, Leonard (March 6, 2013). "The 3 Stooges: Lost, Found, and Unseen". Leonard Maltin's Movie Crazy. Indiewire.com. Retrieved February 17, 2015. 

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