Theft and vandalism are, unfortunately, a familiar foe for those involved in theatre. Everyone in the performing arts has had something stolen, broken, or otherwise disrespected. It is a terrible feeling, and it is one that the staff at A-Z Theatrical is currently experiencing.
A-Z Theatrical Supply and Service Inc is a highly respected supply in the Kansas City Metro. With 50 years in business, they are a crucial part of the performing arts in the Midwest They offer a wide range of services, including thousands of costumes, lighting, rigging, and full show packages. They also have a full-scale scenic and design studio and offer large prop rentals such as the replicas of Grease Lightning and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
The later car, lovingly called Chitty, is screen accurate and custom built to ¾ the size of the one used in the original film. It has wings and turns into a boat much like the one in the 1968 film. Hundreds of hours went into recreating this unique piece.
Chitty was stolen from the A-Z parking lot right around midnight in early June. The theft was caught on the store's surveillance camera. It is surmised that the thief was unaware if the prop and was after the trailer.
“No one knew that the car was in there.” said James Hunter of A-Z Theatrical.
Hunter was kind enough to say a few words about Chitty and the theft. The crime was reported to police on June 9th, but the case was delayed for two weeks.
Productions across the country have benefitted the replica. Chitty was set to appear in The Raytown Arts Council 20th annual musical production. The theatre and A-Z worked together to locate a second prop for their production. “For a high school to come up with a Chitty car is pretty impossible,” Hunter remarked.
The theft has been met with an outpouring of community sympathy and support. The theft made both local media and national news. Yet, the car remains missing. A cash reward, originally set at $500 was offered, was recently raised to $1000. A-Z wants it back, no questions asked
“I don’t care if you pull up in the truck you stole it from.” Hunter claims “You can have the trailer, I just want the car back.”
If you have any information, please contact the Kansas City Police at KC Crimestoppers or call 816-474-TIPS.