STRATFORD, CT (WFSB) -- Stratford police have arrested two teens who are accused of allegedly setting fire to the Shakespeare American Theater in January.
The fire broke out just after midnight on Jan. 13.
The two teens, who live in town, are facing several charges, including first-degree arson, burglary, criminal trespass, and reckless endangerment.
“It's devastating, when you think about it, no one was hurt. The bad thing was there was a lot of destruction and people were emotionally impacted," said Stratford Mayor Laura Hoydick.
The teens involved attend Bunnell High School.
In a statement, Stratford Superintendent of Schools Janet Robinson said "As a community, we are distressed that our students were engaged in such serious behavior. We focus so much of our attention on educating our young people to be responsible, caring, and thoughtful citizens. So many of our students are engaged in community service and contribute to our community in amazing ways. We are extremely disappointed that these young people allegedly made such poor choices, and hope our youth in Connecticut learn from this experience and continue to advocate for actions that improve their communities."
The theater, which was built in the 1950s, once featured Katherine Hepburn, James Earl Jones, and Christopher Plummer.
It eventually closed in the 1980s, with the state taking over the land and eventually turning it over to Stratford in 2005.
Over the years, there were multiple plans to redevelop the theater, but nothing ever came of it.
Hoydick said what's most upsetting is the two teens accused of setting the fire likely have no idea about the history between the theater and the town, and what it once stood for.
“But in reality, they have no connection to the Shakespeare site, absolutely none, they weren’t even born when it was running and outside of it being an empty building they didn’t know anything more about it," she said.
The mayor said the town is getting just under $2 million from the insurance company.
Police said the investigation is ongoing and more arrests are expected.