Thieves threw a paving slab through the York Theatre Royal foyer window and stole around £1,000 from the public donation box.
The break in was discovered by the theatre’s cleaners when they arrived at 7am on Friday morning (January 23).
All the money had been donated by the public towards the theatre’s Capital building appeal.
After every performance of this year’s panto Old Mother Goose, Berwick Kaler has made an announcement from the stage asking audiences to dig deep and leave a few pounds in buckets as they leave the theatre.
People also left donations in a box attached to the foyer wall, not visible from the street – and it is this box that was broken into.
Liz Wilson, the theatre’s chief executive, said some of the gifts had been children’s pocket money.
If the person who has done this has any pride in their city whatsoever, they ought to consider bringing back the money and turning themselves in to the policeFamilies over Christmas have donated money and we even know of children who have enjoyed putting their pocket money in the box.
The news comes with only weeks to go before the Theatre Royal closes for a major re-development that will cost £4.1 million.
The theatre is in the process of raising the last £500,000 needed to transform the theatre’s foyer space, café, toilets, disability access, auditorium and stage.
York police are investigating. Although the theatre’s Box Office opened at the usual time, the café’s opening was delayed.