Theft forces cancellation of holiday laser light show

Published: Dec. 15, 2017 at 6:58 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 16, 2017 at 12:07 AM EST
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A Grinch brought an annual holiday tradition to a halt in southwestern Louisville Metro on Friday.

Waverly Hills Sanatorium holds a laser light show on Fridays and Saturday nights in December, but you won't be able to see that this weekend.

Some of their equipment was stolen, according to the owner.

For a place known for its ghosts and haunted tours, Waverly Hills throws an equally spectacular light show. It's something the owner, Charlie Mattingly takes great pride in.

"Fifteen minutes of Christmas music that's coordinated to animation done by lasers," Mattingly described.

Any other day, Waverly Hills is a hotspot for those who seek the paranormal. On Fridays and Saturdays in December, it's all cheer, no fear.

"We have a whole lot of autistic children come up here and when they see the lasers all over the building they get excited," Mattingly said. "They'll jump around and the parents say they just light up when they come here."

However, this time around, Mattingly himself is afraid of one thing—of letting people down.

According to Charles and Tina Mattingly, someone broke into the control house at Waverly Hills Sanatorium at 4400 Paralee Drive and stole the laptop computer that controlled the light display. While the computer is easily replaced, the custom software and other hardware items with it that run the light show are not.

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Tina Mattingly said this weekend would have been the busiest weekend for the Christmas Laser Light Show, which operated on Friday and Saturday nights from 6:30 p.m. til 9 p.m.. Without the computer and program to control the laser lights, Mattingly said the show couldn't go on.

Mattingly said they will be scrambling to get the show ready for next weekend.

"It hurts us deeply, I would have handed him 35 dollars and told him good luck with your life," Mattingly said.

Waverly Hills is a former tuberculosis hospital which opened in 1926 and operated until 1961.

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