‘Real life grinch’ vandalizes businesses, but doesn’t steal Christmas spirit in small Alabama town

Published 10:35 am Monday, December 11, 2023

A small Alabama town’s theater had to cancel a showing of Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch after a “real life Grinch” vandalized the theater and nearly a dozen other businesses.

The Pride of Atmore, a non-profit group that promotes the city’s downtown, made the announcement on social media Sunday.

The historic Strand Theatre was one of several downtown Atmore businesses that were vandalized sometimes Saturday night or early Sunday morning.

Police quickly identified Shawn Edward Brown as the primary suspect and apprehended him Sunday.

Brown was still being held Monday in the Escambia County Jail without bond on first-degree criminal mischief charges.

“We are sorry for any inconvenience,” The Pride of Atmore wrote on social media as they announced the film showing was canceled. “A real life grinch of a fit decided to hurt every business and business owner on the south west corner of downtown Atmore.”

“But in the true spirit of a Atmore Christmas let’s all show our support for the Christmas parade tonight at 5:30. Just be careful of glass in front of all the businesses.”

The Main Street Atmore organization announced it would gift a $500 donation to each business damaged to help the owners quickly get the damages repaired.