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'It is disgusting' - Thieves steal historic art deco door handles from theatre

PUBLISHED: 12:44 09 August 2019 | UPDATED: 12:44 09 August 2019

Marketing manager Miriam Hall and theatre operations manager Paul Bain outside the Marina Theatre after thieves stolen a set of door handles. PHOTO: Reece Hanson

Marketing manager Miriam Hall and theatre operations manager Paul Bain outside the Marina Theatre after thieves stolen a set of door handles. PHOTO: Reece Hanson

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Shocked theatre staff have described thieves who snatched a pair of ornate art deco handles from its front door as 'disgusting'.

Marketing manager Miriam Hall and theatre operations manager Paul Bain outside the Marina Theatre with a set of door handles left behind. PHOTO: Reece HansonMarketing manager Miriam Hall and theatre operations manager Paul Bain outside the Marina Theatre with a set of door handles left behind. PHOTO: Reece Hanson

Two door handles, along with two brass key hole covers, were taken from the main entrance to Lowestoft's Marina Theatre between Thursday evening and Friday morning.

While the exact age of the handles is not known, they are thought to have been installed in the 1930s, although could have been replaced during a major redevelopment in the 1980s.

Paul Bain, theatre operations manager, said: "When we opened up the theatre this morning for a film, we noticed the brass key hole cover was missing.

"It was a surprise. We saw one set was missing from the outside, and someone had tried to remove the other set.

A matching door handle inside the Marina Theatre. PHOTO: Reece HansonA matching door handle inside the Marina Theatre. PHOTO: Reece Hanson

"This wasn't an attempt to break in, it was a metal theft because of the value of solid brass."

The incident is believed to have occurred between 10.30pm on Thursday and 10am on Friday.

The set of handles which were left behind have been removed by theatre bosses.

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Mr Bain said: "It is disgusting. Those doors are the main entrance to the theatre, and it is unlikely that we can get two to replace them which match the ones left behind and the ones on the inside.

"It looks like we will have to replace them all so they match the aesthetic."

CCTV footage of the theatre entrance is being examined in a bid to identify those involved, as those involved in the theatre have urged scrap metal dealers to be vigilant and aware of their distinctive design.

Miriam Hall, marketing manager, said: "We are a registered charity and we do a lot of community engagement and this is a real sad time for everyone in the town.

"Stealing from a charity is always unpleasant."

Posting about the theft on Facebook, a theatre spokesperson said: "We've come in this morning to discover that some of our building's brass handles have been stolen.

"It's such a sad day for the Marina as we love our historic building so much.

"We are looking through CCTV and police have been contacted.

"We've made the decision to remove the remaining handles to keep them safe.

"If anyone sees or hears anything (we expect they'll be cashed in as scrap), please contact us privately, either on Facebook or by emailing info@marinatheatre.co.uk."

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