Arson Suspected After Historic Manitoba Theatre Destroyed By Fire

Tuesday, Apr. 9, 2024

Police are seeking an arson suspect a fire at the closed Lido Theatre in The Pas was set ablaze.

The blaze was reported to RCMP just after 4:30 Monday morning. RCMP say firefighters from Opaskwayak Cree Nation and The Pas took several hours to extinguish the fire.

The historic venue near the corner of Edwards Ave and 3rd St W was built in late 1929 and opened in early 1930. It was the first in Western Canada designed specifically for “talkies” – movies with sound. Winnipeg architect Max Zev Blankstein had designed the theatre as well as several others in Winnipeg such as Uptown on Academy Road, Tivoli on Maryland Street, and Roxy on Henderson Highway.

Between 2003 and 2019, the Lido upgraded to state-of-the-art digital sound and projection equipment and underwent more renovations in early 2020. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the theatre has been closed since.

Police say a preliminary investigation with help from the Office of the Fire Commissioner determined the cause of the fire was arson. Police are asking anyone with info on the incident to call 204-627-6204 or leave an anonymous tip with Manitoba Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).