A fabled dance hall that once drew the likes of Benny Goodman and Cab Calloway during its heyday more than half a century ago has been destroyed in a fire police suspect was caused by trespassers.
The Manitou Beach Dance Hall overlooking Lake Ontario in suburban Rochester was a thriving nightspot in the 1930s and 1940s but had been abandoned for decades.
Hilton Fire Chief John Lemcke said Friday night's blaze was suspicious because there was no electricity in the building.
The dance hall was built next to the Elmheart Hotel in the 1930s after the hotel's rooms were closed to guests. The vacant, century-old hotel was being restored when it went up in flames in 1992; the dance hall sustained only minor damage in that fire.