Burglaries may force family to close drive-in theater

SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - By Morgan Chesky - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - A local business may now be forced to close its doors permanently after another early morning break in.

Owners of the Sky Vue Drive-in say thieves have now targeted them twice in the past four months, each time taking thousands of dollars of goods. The first break-in, in January, prompted the family to install surveillance cameras on their property. Unfortunately, the cameras did not stop burglars from breaking in a second time, in the early morning hours of Monday, April 12th.

Owner Ronda Phillips said thieves used a tool to pry open the door locks, giving them free reign to the premises. Using trash cans and buckets, Phillips says, the intruders stole thousands of dollars worth of concessions, electronics, and cash. The family says most disturbing find was finding a container for a local charity once filled with cash, empty on the floor.

For three years, the theater located northwest of Tyler has given some East Texans a new, and others a nostalgic evening at the movies. The business is owned and operated by the Phillips family, who spend their days running a construction company and their nights showcasing cinemas under the stars. The losses from the two break-ins are estimated at $10,000, an amount Phillips says she won't be able to recoup until the end of summer.

The family is urging anyone with information to contact Smith County Authorities, who are currently investigating the case. They will continue to show double movie features every night except Thursday as soon as the sun goes down. Adult tickets are $6, children 5-12 are $4, and 4 and under get in free.

You can find out more about the movies showing at the theater's website:

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