The Royal Theatre in downtown Trail. Photo: Royal Theatre

The Royal Theatre in downtown Trail. Photo: Royal Theatre

‘We have a lot to lose’

Letter from Jos Sharp of Trail

I would like to second Virginia Clover’s recent call for community support for the owners of the Royal Theatre. (“Harsh Reality for The Royal Theatre has movie-goer penning plea,” Trail Times Nov. 24).

They have done so much to make their movie theatre a cultural hub in our downtown.

They have competed effectively with the multiplex theatre in Castlegar, and doubled down against the revenue killing COVID pandemic. They modernized and restored their theatre, making it a first-class facility we can all be proud of.

Now they have to deal with some nasty characters who are targeting downtown businesses.

When such a resilient, creative business as the Royal is ready to throw in the towel, we have to recognize how serious the problem is at the heart of our community.

We have a lot to lose.

I have always appreciated the fact that we have a great place to see movies so close by and we have regular opportunities to enjoy first class performances of theatre, opera and dance without leaving the Kootenays.

If there has been one local business whose success I have wholeheartedly rooted for, it has been the Royal Theatre.

It seems so wrong for this enterprise to have survived through so much only to be brought down by a few bad apples in our community.

I am not referring to our unfortunate homeless population who seemed to be blamed as a group for the antisocial and often criminal behavior of a few individuals.

Those individuals need to face serious consequences for their behavior.

Ideally, they would be brought before their victims and held accountable for their actions with restitution of some kind as part of their accountability.

As it is, the best we can hope for from our system is that the police and the courts would remove them from our communities.

I understand that the provincial government just directed crown counsels to call for stiffer bail conditions for those who are likely to re-offend and/or are serious threats to public safety.

Hopefully that will help.

It is not fair to our downtown businesses that they are sitting ducks for abusive and even criminal behavior of a few chronic offenders.

I hope our city council is clear with our local police.

Individuals who victimize others in our community need to be prosecuted effectively so they don’t continue to threaten the safety and security of valued businesses such as the Royal Theatre.

They also need to keep in mind the housed residents of our downtown and the non-offending unhoused, those folks who harm no one but are forced to live on the street due to a lack of affordable housing and mental health services.

They too are victims who require support against abuse and theft and they have nowhere to run.

Joslyn Sharp

Trail

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