Owners seek aid after lights stolen from Muse Theatre in La Crosse

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — Grinches struck again — this time on La Crosse’s North Side.

The owners of the Muse Theatre noticed that the lights that once lined the top of the building were damaged on Monday.

“We saw that the lights were hanging there,” said Vicki Elwood, owner of the theater. “Somebody must’ve pulled them off. They took a whole strand.”

Though there still are some lights on the building, they’re damaged beyond repair and will be difficult to replace, Elwood said.

The lights were originally hung in June 2020 using a construction lift. This was done by hand while the theater’s bell tower was being repaired.

“It really was a painstaking process,” Elwood said. “And now, in order to do this again. … We’ll have to rent the lift again. … It’s going to be a big procedure.”

The lights were meant to be a special finishing touch on the theater, which was once a church, in its renovation process, Elwood said.

The lights were used to let the neighborhood know when a show was on and light the way for people coming and going from shows.

“It was just a blow to us after — it’s been a couple of hard years. You know, just with COVID and everything,” Elwood said. “It’s another thing that just hit us, you know. So it’s just been a little hard to deal with.”

The damage comes as the theater approaches opening night for its Christmas show this weekend.

Elwood hopes to get lights back up by next weekend, and is taking donations for its repair and replacement on a GoFundMe page.

“If somebody wants to donate a lift that would be helpful,” Elwood said. “If somebody’s good at (hanging lights), I would love that.”

Before the theft and damage, lights were hung only at the front of the building. Elwood hopes that, with help, the theater can string lights all around the building.

The theft and damage occurred just a few weeks after thieves stole electrical platform boxes from Rotary Lights going up at Riverside Park.

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