The Royal Theatre was at the centre of a real-life drama this week that no one would want a part in.
Just after midnight on Wednesday the theatre was broken into, robbed of equipment, and vandalized.
“Overall it was a sickening feeling to have such a beautiful building violated like it was,” owner Lisa Milne told the Trail Times Thursday morning.
“The community has taken ownership of this old gal and it was heartbreaking to see what happened to it yesterday.”
The main operating equipment stolen was – of all things – the 65” digital menu board behind the concession area.
Also gone is a key electronic computer component for digital cinema, which ran the entire projection system remotely.
“(That) would have no value to anyone, but movie theatres,” Milne said. “Random stock and odd items were also stolen, and there was senseless vandalism of the lobby area.”
Staff has stepped in to help get the theatre cleaned up and ready to open Friday Sept. 7, and bring back some smiles with a showing of the comedy ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ at 7 p.m.
“There’s a saying in Hollywood ‘that the show must go on,’” Milne said. “And it will.”
Community outpouring went a long way this week to help the Royal Theatre owner and her staff deal with ‘feeling kicked in the gut.’
“We at the Royal are very lucky to have the patrons we do here,” she shared. “It keeps us going and will make us stronger.”
With tears shed and back-to-business work underway, Milne had a message to share with other Trail businesses.
“To other local business worried about their buildings, I would say to talk with the Trail RCMP or local security companies,” she said. “About ways you can make your building less attractive to thieves; like more lighting inside, and an alarm. We will be going that route now.”
Sgt. Mike Wicentowich from the Greater Trail RCMP says the police will continue to investigate this matter.
“Nelson Forensic Identification Section collected forensic evidence from the scene which will aid the investigator in solving this matter,” he told the Times. “The police recovered the tools used to break into the theatre which can assist in solving this matter.”
Trail, like other areas, has an persistent problem of theft and break ins.
“The police encourage the public to lock their vehicles and secure their personal belongings whenever possible to prevent minor thefts of personal items,” Sgt. Wicentowich said. “The police also encourage people to use good quality deadbolt locks as well as utilizing security cameras and alarm when possible and practical for their homes and businesses.”
Additionally, dogs have been proven to be good deterrents to thefts and break-ins.
“Break-ins usually occur when the owner isn’t home, day or night,” he said. “It is important to consider this when you leave your residence unattended. Asking a trusted friend or neighbour to check on your residence when you are planning to be away can help deter victimization. “
Anyone with information regarding this or other crimes can contact the Trail Detachment at 250-364-2566.