Police look for cinema burglar

LIHU‘E — Kaua‘i police are actively investigating a burglary and theft of approximately $4,500 in cash from Kukui Grove Cinema 4 sometime early Wednesday morning.

An unknown person or persons gained access into the upstairs office, stole the cash and caused an estimated $7,000 worth of damages, said county spokesperson Sarah Blane.

The cinema’s management does not wish to give out too much information in the interest of the investigation. However, they did say that the burglary was caught on video and that the police have a copy.

All of the theater keys are accounted for and the doors to the offices were forced open and damaged, said Marlene Blair, theater owner.

“This is a secure building,” Blair said. “In less that 10 minutes they were in the building, got what they wanted and left.”

The burglar also slashed one of the movie screens. It will take a month to replace and accounts for most of the damages. Temporary repairs have been made and the screen will continue to be used.

“My main concern is to protect those that work here, and then to not have any of my other three screens damaged,” Blair said.

The damage to the movie screen is near the bottom, and it is less noticeable from the middle rows toward the back, said Blair. Theater-goers will be informed of the damage and of the best place to sit, she said.

The staff are trained in what to do if someone attempts a robbery at the ticket window when the theater is open, Blair said. This is the major concern of all theaters, to protect employees and customers where they could be at risk, Blair said.

“We have precautions for that,” she said. “We try to be very aware of who is coming in very late to a movie, and try to have more staff out here (near the ticket window and refreshment counters) to be seen. We try do all of those things to protect everybody who works here.”

This burglary came after the theater was closed for the day. The speed of the crime and apparent knowledge of the building gives concern that the burglar may have been someone who is familiar with the theater. The $4,500 was taken from an unlikely place without much disturbance to the surrounding area to find it, Blair said.

The janitors had already left for the night. Blair’s son was handling bookkeeping and other duties until very late. He recalled that he received a phone call that was a hang up, Blair said.

In the meantime, the theater will transition its two remaining film projectors to digital as the complete transition to the format will occur by mid 2013, Blair said.

The number of admissions at the theater are down about 20,000 from 2010. The owners are keeping ticket prices less than theaters on O‘ahu to work with the local economy, Blair said.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, send us an email.