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Iranian Revolution

Cinema Rex fire

Thursday Aug 18, 1977
Abadan, Iran

On 19 August, in the southwestern city of Abadan, four arsonists barred the door of the Cinema Rex movie theatre and set it on fire. In what was the largest terrorist attack in history prior to the 11 September 2001 attacks, 422 people inside the theatre were burned to death. Khomeini immediately blamed the Shah and SAVAK for setting the fire. Due to the pervasive revolutionary atmosphere, the public also blamed the Shah for starting the fire, despite the government's insistence that they were uninvolved.