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Hope cinema suffers break-in early Sunday morning

Thief made off with candy and a duffel bag full of items from the cinema
A Jan. 3 break in at the Hope Cinema is frustrating owner Kevin Larson, whose business has been shut since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March. The lone thief entered the cinema by smashing the front door, which is now boarded up. (Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard)

Locked doors, an alarm system and security cameras didn’t stop one thief from breaking into the Hope Cinema early Sunday morning.

The man, who was caught on security cameras inside the establishment as well as leaving the building on foot Jan. 3 at around 4 a.m., entered the cinema by smashing a window cinema owner Kevin Larson said will cost $200 to repair. Candy was stolen and other items were taken away in a duffel bag, the exact contents Larson is not yet sure of.

“I don’t know what I’m faced with when I get back to reopen, what am I going to be missing? I might be missing something and I can’t reopen,” he said. “If they took anything of high importance then the theater can’t open until I get that item, whatever it is, replaced. So it’s nasty.”

The cinema has been closed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March, Larson said re-opening would likely be in the spring or summer.

“If people plan on breaking and entering and pilfering the place well then there won’t be any movie theatre in town,” Larson said, who has had the Hope cinema for 21 years. “First of all you lose your business then the criminals start to pilfer and vandalize.”

His cinema was broken into five years ago, however the vandalism in and outside the cinema happens every year. “I stopped painting the building, stopped fixing it up because it’s like a clean canvas for them to hit it again. I just get tired of it,” Larson said.

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