In a happy ending for the Arlington Theatre, a vintage lamp stolen two years ago has been found and returned by two local antique dealers.
“This could only happen in a town like Santa Barbara,” theater manager Karen Killingsworth said.
The priceless lamp was taken at Christmastime in 2011, which was a huge shock, she said. That and the matching lamps are original to the theater, which was built in 1931.
A police report was filed, but nothing came of it.
Friends Michael Junk and Tom Houghtaling often walk their dogs through the Arlington’s main corridor and know the area well. When they heard the lamp was stolen, they took a special interest, Killingsworth said.
They regularly go to garage sales looking for antiques, and on Saturday, they spotted something special at a sale in Goleta. The seller wanted $5 for it, so Junk paid it and immediately drove to the theater to check if it really was the lamp, Killingsworth said.
No one asked how the lamp came to be at a garage sale.
She got the call just as she was starting Frozen for the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.
“We were so busy but I thought, ‘I think I’m going to go down and pick up my lamp,’” she laughed.
The lamp is in pretty good shape, but is missing some glass and the bottom hook so it’s being refurbished. It will be rehung as soon as possible.
“I could hardly believe it, I was just blown away by the whole thing and he brought it by,” she said. “It was just so amazing that someone would be able to do that, to take the time to make the connection.”