‘Quite a loss’: Historic Manitoba theatre burns down, arson suspected

THE PAS, Man. –

The mayor of a Manitoba community is saddened by the loss of a historic theatre to an apparent arson overnight.

The historic Lido Theatre in The Pas, Man. caught fire Monday morning, with RCMP suspecting arson as the cause.

Andre Murphy, mayor of The Pas, received numerous messages Monday morning, and went down to see the fire for himself.

“Our great firefighters from The Pas and OCN (Opaskwayak Cree Nation) were battling this large structure fire,” he said. “This is a huge building and they were mostly battling from the outside because, from my understanding, it was too hot to enter.”

Murphy said the building is “a complete loss.”

The Lido Theatre, according to the Manitoba Historical Society, was built in 1929. It was one of the first theatres in Western Canada designed for movies with sound, and had 600 seats, and an orchestra pit.

The theatre shut its doors in 2019, but the property was purchased by The Pas in an auction last year, Murphy said, with plans to turn it into an arts and culture building.

Murphy said many people in The Pas, including himself, have memories of going to the theatre.

“We all grew up through that theatre, going there as teenagers, going there as young people for the Saturday matinee and buying popcorn and those types of stuff,” he said. “It’s quite a loss. But you know, we still have our memories of it, and it’s unfortunate that it’s gone.”

No arrests have been made and the RCMP are investigating.

 

-With files from The Canadian Press

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