WATCH ABOVE: There continues to be a lot of questions when it comes to the blaze that burned down Edmonton’s Roxy Theatre. Vinesh Pratap reports.
EDMONTON – In the aftermath of the massive fire which destroyed Edmonton’s iconic Roxy Theatre, the slow process of picking up the pieces is now underway.
The flames erupted just before 4 a.m. on Tuesday morning and left the 77-year-old building gutted. Questions still remain over what sparked the blaze and how much damage it caused.
The Theatre Network, which owned and operated the Roxy, is focused on short-term solutions. That includes finding an office space and new venues for the productions that were booked at the theatre.
As for what the long-term plans are for the site, many hope to see the theatre build itself back from the ashes.
“We’ll do everything we can in our powers to hopefully facilitate that in any regard,” said Jeff McLaren of the 124 Street Business Association. “And they’ll have our support full on. So, definitely want Roxy back in the original location.”
“We need them here. They’re such an integral part of 124th Street,” added Garner Beggs, co-owner of the Duchess Bake Shop, which suffered some water and smoke damage in the fire.
The Theatre Network’s artistic director, Bradley Moss, has been overwhelmed by the show of support.
“When a disaster like this, a tragic event happens and people reach out, you really feel, ‘Oh wow, we’ve really have had an impact on people’s lives.'”
According to the Theatre Network, the Roxy was active about 275 days a year, bringing upwards of 35,000 people each year to 124 Street.
Moss says it’s still too early to tell what its future holds.
“Rebuilding is on the table. It’s something we are discussing.”
He believes it may take a couple years before the Roxy recovers from this blow, though, and hopes the community will continue to show its support throughout that process.
This isn’t the first blow 124 Street has suffered. McLaren said the neighbourhood has dealt with floods and another fire down the street. And just like it’s bounced back from those set-backs, he’s confident it will also overcome this one.
“We’re a super resilient group on this street…We’ll rally around and we’ll come back better and stronger than ever. For sure.”
With files from Vinesh Pratap, Global News