The future home of Roswell Community Little Theatre on 1717 S. Union Avenue was hit by v andals for the second time in less than a week. The first incident occurred sometime between Sunday and Wednesday when it was reported to the Roswell Police Department.
The second happened some time between Wednesday and Saturday. â€œA few weeks ago a water pipe burst,â€ said Patti Stacy, president of the Roswell Community Little Theatre.
â€œThat caused several thousand dollars worth of damage. … We came to clean up on Sunday and discovered the damage. Then I came here with the insurance adjuster to look at the water damage to find the building had been broken into a second time.â€
In the first incident, the vandals moved furniture, broke all the windows in the projection room, destroyed an exit lamp between the auditorium and the lobby, and threw two spotlights from the projection room into the auditorium. Her reaction to the first incident was shock and anger.
â€œWhy would someone do it?â€ she said. The subjects gained access through one pane of two plate glass windows on the northwest side of the building during the first incident. â€œThis window was boarded up, so they broke the other pane to get in the second time,â€ said Stacy. During the second incident, the vandals shot up the place. â€œThey took all the light bulbs, lined them up on a gurney and used them for target practice,â€ Stacy said.
â€œWe think they hid behind a couch so they wouldnâ€™t get hit by the ricochet.â€ She pointed to pillows on the floor and said that the police believed the vandals used them as silencers. Stacy explained that the vandals carried the safe into the auditorium and knocked down several rows of seats. The subjects barricaded the door to the auditorium with rows of seats and wired the doors shut. â€œThe barricade really irked me. We had to cut the the wires to get in,â€ said Stacy.
â€œThose seats come in rows of six. They are not easy to lift, so itâ€™s not just little kids. Thereâ€™s a lot of them.â€ The vandals also left one of the back doors propped open and placed graffiti on both of the back exits.
Officer Travis Holley, spokesman for the police, said heâ€™d never heard of any gang of that name. The plate glass windows on the front of the building also have bullet holes, but Stacy admitted that those predate the groupâ€™s purchase of the building. The Roswell Community Little Theatre bought the old Park Twin movie theatre in 2007. As a result of all the damages, the opening has been delayed by at least a year.
Stacy said the architect will have to rework plans â€” she estimates damages will cost $2,500 to repair, but there is a catch. â€œBecause the building was not under construction at the time, our insurance will not cover it,â€ she said. She described the theatre project as â€œa labor of love.â€ â€œThe Roswell Police Department are keeping the building under close patrol,â€ she said.
â€œPlease ask people to let the police know if they see something.â€