Police were called to the Bellevue Theater on March 27 after the owners discovered that the building had been broken into and vandalized.
Police said the owners were conducting a check of the property when they discovered someone had broken in. The owners found graffiti, most of it unreadable, throughout the inside of the theater and estimated the damage, which is believed to have occurred sometime within the last month, at $10,000.
The Bellevue, built in 1922, has been closed since November 2017, after Bow Tie Cinemas opted not to renew its lease. Discussions have been underway to renovate the Bellevue and reopen it as a working movie theater, but those plans have not yet moved forward.
It is the second time in just over a year that the theater has been vandalized. In January 2020, police said that an unknown person or persons broke into the theater, discharged a fire extinguisher, and damaged ceiling tiles, a light fixture, theater seating and interior windows.
Also in this week’s police blotter:
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Tuesday, March 23 — A man told police that while waiting for a taxi on Claremont Avenue, he set his briefcase down on the ground and briefly left it unattended. When he returned, the briefcase, which was reported to contain a phone charger and several checkbooks, was gone.
Thursday, March 25 — A Jerome Place resident told police that her 2009 Honda CRV had been stolen from her driveway during the overnight hours. The vehicle had been left unlocked with a spare key inside.
Thursday, March 25 — A Jerome Place resident told police that her unlocked vehicle had been rummaged through during the overnight hours. The only thing reported missing was approximately $1 in loose change.
Thursday, March 25 — A vehicle owner reported that he saw an unknown person inside his car with a flashlight on Gates Avenue. When the owner yelled at the man, the man said, “Sorry, I thought it was my car,” and fled to a waiting vehicle. The vehicle, described as a dark-colored Chevy Malibu, fled west on Gates Avenue and then north on Harrison Avenue.
The police blotter is based on information provided to Montclair Local at the discretion of the Montclair Police Department, and reflects events as described by the department. It may not reflect the complete scope of police activity. Any descriptions of wrongful activity are merely allegations, and any persons mentioned in the blotter are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The MPD encourages anyone who wishes to report criminal or suspicious activity, or who has information pertaining to an ongoing investigation, to call 973-744-1234. In an emergency, residents are urged to call 911.