NewsLocal News


Movie buff livestreams arrest during SLC theater break-in

Posted at 11:38 AM, Jul 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-15 13:39:35-04

SALT LAKE CITY — A local movie buff trying to save a dilapidated yet historic theater is facing misdemeanor charges for staging yet another protest.

WATCH: Activist chains himself to historic downtown SLC theater planned for demolition

Michael Valentine means business as he staged a hunger strike last month outside the Pantages Theater, also chaining himself to the building.

But Valentine ramped up things this week when he and fellow protesters livestreamed their tactics to save the theater, going inside the building and sharing their protest on social media.

He wants city officials — or anyone else in a position to do so — to save what he calls "the people's theater."

Officers arrived on the scene and the protesters left peacefully, except for one person, who was then arrested for criminal trespass.

WATCH: Man offers to buy historic 'Utah Theater' from Salt Lake City

Valentine claims city officials aren't being totally honest about their ability to save the historic building, but Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall begs to differ.

She has said it would cost tens of millions to remodel the building and make it structurally sound, money she believes is better spent on providing affordable housing and shelters for Salt Lake City's growing homeless population.