Venice Theatre, heart of community destroyed


VENICE, Fla. (WFLA) — The Venice Theatre is the heart and soul of Venice. Locals say It embodies the entire community — now, neighbors are heartbroken to see the destruction brought to the beloved landmark.

Fifty feet across the street from the Venice Theatre, you’ll find Luna’s Ristorante.

“Thirty years here,” said Mike Altieri, who owns Luna’s. “This is shocking to me.”

Altieri is in disbelief. He relies on the shows of the theatre for business.

“It’s such a big economic part of Venice and now it’s gone,” he said. “My restaurant depends on those shows and now we don’t have them this coming season.”

Winds strong enough to throw metal and concrete across the street ripped through the community Wednesday.

“It’s killing me,” Altieri said. “It’s breaking everybody’s heart in Venice. It’s bad — that’s all I can say but we will come back.”

Right around the corner, a tree split and fell onto a minivan outside a retirement home, but all eyes remain on the heart and soul of Venice.

“It’s just heartbreaking it really is,” said Mayor Ron Feinsod. “This is just one of the key elements to the city background in terms of our cultural background and our cultural history.”

Mayor Feinsod’s Message — Be safe and be patient. It’ll take time to get the lights back on.

“We are a small community and we always come together in times of disaster and I’m proud of the people of Venice,” said the Mayor.

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