Harlingen community theater struggles to keep the lights on after break-ins, damages

Local News

HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) — A local non-profit theater in the city of Harlingen is finally opening its curtains after being closed throughout the pandemic.

However, upon return, they found out someone has been breaking in and there are substantial damages from the weather.

“One of the things that we’ve been experiencing as we’ve been closed has been break-ins and vandalism to our building,” said Alyssabeth Cantu, one of the directors at Harlingen Community Theater.

Cantu said the theater is an important place for the community.

“Our theater itself on creating sort of a family for people who don’t otherwise have one,” said Cantu.

Now that summer programs are scheduled to start, they are met with the challenge of fixing repairs from vandalism.

Damages which they believe are from kids in the community, and the weather.

“There has been spilled paint, broken props and set pieces and things of that sort,” said Cantu. “They usually will leave our door open which welcomes additional vandalism and additional break-ins as well.”

To save on expenses, the theatre has completely turned off its breakers for its electricity, which also turns off the air conditioner.

“You’ll notice that our lights are off and our A.C. is also off because when we don’t have people in the building we have to flip all of our breakers off to help us conserve money that we spend on electricity,” said Cantu.

The Harlingen Community theater is a non-profit, but because of job losses from the pandemic, there is a gap where patrons usually step in to help.

“There are a lot of people who’ve lost their businesses, their jobs, their livelihood—and so with their struggles we are also struggling because we do rely on our community to help us stay open,” said Cantu.

Cantu said she has been coming to this theater since she was ten years old and said she is asking the community for help to make sure the show goes on.

“We just want to continue growing our family it’s the joy of getting to meet new people and teach people new things that keeps those of us who have been here coming back,” said Cantu.

To support the theater click here.

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