Three men were arrested on suspicion of breaking into and burglarizing the historic Castro Theatre early Tuesday morning.
The incident happened around 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday, according to SFPD Public Information Officer Robert Rueca. Officers on foot were patrolling the area of the 400 block of Castro Street when they saw a man inside the theater.
"The officers also observed broken glass on the front door of the theater, which appeared to be a sign of forced entry,” Rueca says in a news release. “Officers immediately detained the male and called for additional officers to assist them in searching the establishment, which they suspected was just burglarized.”
On Twitter, Supervisor Rafael Mandelman praised SFPD Officer Kathryn Winters for being the first to notice the broken glass and "missing signs" at the theater.
Yesterday morning @SFPDMission arrested three individuals suspected of breaking into the @Castro_Theatre, after Officer Kathryn Winters noticed missing signs and broken glass.— Rafael Mandelman (@RafaelMandelman) March 30, 2022
Thanks to Officer Winters' sharp eye, further damage was averted, and the Theatre was quickly repaired. pic.twitter.com/xKKqpfm9UB
After the officers called for backup, and a thorough search of the theater was conducted, a total of three suspects were found on the premises, along with burglary tools. It's not clear what, if anything, was in the process of being stolen — the theater has been mostly closed for the better part of two years, save for a few events, like last week's premiere of Everything Everywhere All at Once.
As KRON4 reports, the three arrested suspects are Gary Marx, 38, who was booked on suspicion of burglary; Nicholas Degrego, 25, who was booked on suspicion of burglary and possession of drug paraphernalia; and Jason Kilbourne, 32, who was booked on suspicion of burglary and violation of his probation.
In addition to Kilbourne, Degrego appears to be a repeat offender who was previously arrested by BART police in October 2020 on outstanding SFPD warrants at that time.
The Castro Theatre has recently come under the management of Another Planet Entertainment, the outfit that also books and manages Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, The Independent, and Oakland's Fox Theater. Another Planet says it plans to book musical acts at the Castro following a renovation that is still seeking permits, as Hoodline reports. And, they say, they will continue to host film festivals and do some film programming, schedule permitting — but the theater in future years will no longer be a full-time repertory movie house.
The next big event at the Castro is the San Francisco International Film Festival, which kicks off on April 21.
Photo: Matt Dodd