POLICE are searching for a thief who stole an antique camera from the Star Cinema in Eaglehawk.
A volunteer discovered the camera was gone on Wednesday after noticing its stand had been discarded in the ladies toilets, cinema programming manager Hannah Morton said.
“They’ve realised the stand was actually stashed behind one of the doors,” she said.
“So somebody’s walked from the foyer into the lady’s toilets, removed the camera, left the stand and walked away.”
Ms Morton was disappointed by the theft.
“It is a beautiful, beautiful piece. That’s why we decided to display it,” she said.
“It’s sad that you can’t have it out on display. People should have had enough maturity and respect to admire it and leave it where it was.”
The cinema had been digging antique pieces out of storage to be displayed.
“We had been bringing them out over the past few years because people are getting more and more interested in them,” Ms Morton said.
“It was great that people could connect to that sense of history, particularly in a beautiful old town hall that has a long standing connection to cinema and films.”
The building still boasts the projection room and ticket booth dating back to the first half of the 20th century.
Ms Morton did not know much about the Eumig 8mm movie camera, other than that it was not unlike the one used to film the Kennedy assassination.
Police suspected the camera was pinched sometime between 6.30pm and 10pm Tuesday night, Leading Senior Constable Murray Porter said, when about 100 filled the cinema for a screening.
He estimated the piece was worth little more than $100, but he said it was unusual enough to draw attention.
“Somebody’s going to have noticed it,” Leading Senior Constable Murray Porter said.
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Ms Morton said it would be “amazing” to be reunited with the camera.
“We’d be happy not to ask any questions, though we may ask that person never to return,” she said.
“You never know, with people on the lookout in a great community like this, it may turn up.
“That would make our Christmas.”
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