The bathrooms at Streator Eagle 6 were vandalized Wednesday night, but what was more surprising to owner Eric Gubelman was the community’s support.
One individual spread fecal matter on the walls of the bathroom with a plunger and toilets were clogged with toilet paper and a bowl cleaner brush. Three staff members had to clean up the bathroom.
Gubelman said in a phone interview it came as a disappointment to staff members that pride themselves on the building’s cleanliness.
“It just sort of ruined the night of three employees who had to clean it up,” Gubelman said.
Streator police responded to the incident and the staff stopped a movie that was playing at the time. An individual did not fess up to the crime, but the post said the individual was one from a group of five. All five in the group were banned from the theater.
The bathroom will have to undergo additional painting with potentially future plumbing work as a toilet was blocked up.
Gubelman said the business has not decided whether or not they will pursue the crime further.
So, the business posted the details on Facebook the next day, because Gubelman said he prefers to be as transparent to the community as possible.
More than 630 users interacted with the post and more than 175 shared the story.
“It was a bigger thing I think because our customer base is very loyal and proud of the theater and they were appalled,” Gubelman said.
Many of the comments ranged from supportive of staff to dismissive of patrons that would vandalize the bathroom.
He added every business faces issues from customers that misbehave, with some instances being worse than others.
The business returned to Facebook a day after the original post to reiterate the actions of one individual do not represent the general populace that visits. They added they also don’t believe it is representative of youth in the community. The business did not describe the ages of those involved.
Gubelman said the comments made on Facebook are more representative of the support and behavior they’ve received in the community.
“People should understand the 99.9 percent of our customers are wonderful and the ones who might misbehave almost always pick less dramatic ways of misbehaving,” Gubelman said in a follow-up email. “This is not a story about a unique event, it is another story of the unique and welcome reception we have received from La Salle County.”