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Thieves damage theatre roof

PUBLISHED: 18:56 01 April 2008 | UPDATED: 10:46 03 July 2010

THIEVES caused thousands of pounds of damage behind after trying to prise copper sheeting from a theatre roof.

The damage was spotted by two builders working nearby who broke the news to Gorleston Pavilion Theatre operators Stuart Malkovich and Kevin Lynch last week.

THIEVES caused thousands of pounds of damage behind after trying to prise copper sheeting from a theatre roof.

The damage was spotted by two builders working nearby who broke the news to Gorleston Pavilion Theatre operators Stuart Malkovich and Kevin Lynch last week.

The damage was caused when the thieves loosened the fittings but failed to free the copper sheeting, and they fled the scene.

Mr Malkovich said: “Someone has got up there thinking it was lead because there have been a number of thefts like that around the county. But the roof is made of massive copper sheets which they couldn't get off, but they have completely wrecked it.”

Since the damage was discovered the roof has been covered with tarpaulin, and buckets have been dotted about the theatre in case water gets through into the Pier Gardens building.

Mr Malkowich added: “Being close to the seafront we are exposed to the elements but we are hoping the tarpaulin will keep the rain out.”

He said they had recently spent thousands of pounds refurbishing the foyer and 300-seat auditorium.

“That work had finished, but last week a couple of boilers stopped working and now this is really the icing on the cake. It's like a soap opera here.”

The building, which dates back to 1901, is owned by Great Yarmouth Borough Council and officers visited the building on Friday morning to inspect the damage.

“Repairing the roof will cost about £80,000 and scaffolding will cost about £30,000,” explained Mr Malkovich, who could not say when repair work is likely to start. “The insurance is handled by the borough council, so it is just a case of waiting.”

The theatre's summer season kicks off on April 29 and rehearsals are well underway but Mr Malkovich said the show would go on and found the lighter side of the situation joking: “If the roof is leaking we might have to change the show to Singing in the Rain.”

The attempted theft and damage happened between 10pm on Wednesday and midday on Thursday last week. A police spokesperson said it was likely more than one person was involved and that a large vehicle was probably in the area at the time.

Anyone with information should contact PC Simon Hood at Yarmouth police station on 0845 456 4567.

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