Edward Cullen cardboard cut-out stolen from Cinema Nova in Melbourne

It’s unclear whether the theft was planned ahead of time or a spur-of-the-moment decision, though either way the heist was well executed. “It looks to me like they were watching when someone was distracted,” Fenwick Elliot said. “They had lookouts on the stairs, and then they were watching the candy bar. When they knew that [the staff] they were busy serving, they grabbed it and made a run for it.”

CCTV footage seen by cinema employees points to four young women, presumably Edward Cullen fans, as the perpetrators.

Photograph of Cinema Nova staff member Lucy Fenwick Elliott with an Edward Cullen standee which was later stolen during a Twilight movie marathon.

Photograph of Cinema Nova staff member Lucy Fenwick Elliott with an Edward Cullen standee which was later stolen during a Twilight movie marathon.Credit:Caitlin Pettit/Cinema Nova

News of the theft was posted on the cinema’s Instagram, prompting an unexpected wave of messages, responses, theories and commiserations.

“Whoever stole this is on my list because I wanted to take a pic with him, and he was gone by then,” said one commenter.

“As if they left at 1:31am and didn’t finish all five films. Fake fans,” said another.

While the theft of a piece of cardboard is unlikely to be the biggest concern for Cinema Nova, as it adjusts to a post-lockdown world where audiences are starting to return to the movies, it has left staff feeling deflated.

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“It was so lovely to see the balance of the ironic enjoyment of twilight, and a really genuine joy, and I think that’s really come across with how people have reacted [to the theft],” said Fenwick Elliott. “I’ve gotten so many messages being like, ‘We’re so sorry, do you need information?’ People really care.”

So, what options are there if the thieves have a change of heart, are overcome with guilt, or simply pull from Cullen’s company? There are a few ways they can return the cut-out. Fenwick Elliott says the morning is a good time to drop it off unseen as there are few people around at that time.

“Or they could go to the back delivery door, press the buzzer and just run like hell.”

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