Claremont Insider: Padua Theatre Misplaces Guest

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Padua Theatre Misplaces Guest

The weekend crime wave seems to have moved north from Foothill Blvd.

We've heard from several readers that late Saturday night the fire department received a 911 dispatch to the newly reopened Padua Hills Theatre where a wedding reception was being held.

The 911 call came from a woman whose drunken son, apparently an adult, had wandered off from the theatre and disappeared. The fire department personnel must have had some trouble locating the missing man because a Pomona police helicopter had to be called in to flash its searchlight over the area. The police call went on for about 2-1/2 hours, from a little before midnight to 2:30am, with the helicopter flashing its light all over the area. From what we've heard, police made an arrest for public intoxication, but we don't know if that was the missing guy or one of the other reception guests.

You can probably expect more such incidents (and the attendant costs for police and fire) with the theatre usage ramping up greatly from past years now that the theatre's refurbished. You might even expect a fire or two from people chucking their smokes into the Wilderness Park brush from that new terrace as they admire the view.

This incident is certainly a change from what we might have guessed would happen. People had wondered about drunk drivers leaving the theatre at night and causing accidents or striking pedestrians in the residential areas surrounding the theatre. No one bothered to think about the need to protect the drunks from themselves!

At least they can sleep it off quietly in the chamise and California buckwheat with no one to bother them other than the coyotes and the occasional mountain lion. And, too, it's good to have the City, Arteco Partners (the company operating the theatre), and Chantrelles (Arteco's catering company) on notice about all these potential liabilities their property presents - car and pedestrian accidents, increased fire danger, missing partygoers - though that last one might more properly fall under the heading "Natural Selection."

We're assuming, of course, that no harm really befell the missing gentleman. One would assume we'd have heard about it if he were still unaccounted for, unless the Claremont PD wanted things hushed up. This was, after all, just one day before Claremont Heritage's big soirée at the same location and only one week after the theatre's reopening.

Count on hearing (or not hearing) about more of the same in future years. That's just the inevitable and unfortunate downside to the Padua Theatre's location, situated as it is on a dark hillside surrounded by single-family homes.