Employee Returns Wallet That Was Lost For Nearly 50 Years

by : Julia Banim on : 04 Jun 2021 18:32
PA Images/Wikimedia Commons

A woman from California has recovered a wallet that she lost during a cinema trip almost 50 years ago.

Tom Stevens, an employee who had been working on remodelling the historic Majestic Ventura Theater in Southern California, discovered the wallet inside a crawl space, filled with personal effects.


The old red wallet was found hidden among old confectionary wrappers, drink cans and ticket stubs, with the contents within described as being like a ‘time capsule’.

You can check out more about this story in the following news report:


Taking to the Majestic Ventura Theater Facebook page, Stevens shared pictures of ‘treasures’ found inside the wallet, which had belonged to a woman named Colleen Distin.


These treasures included old photographs, a Grateful Dead concert ticket from 1973 and a California driver’s license that expired back in 1976.

In one Facebook post, Stevens reached out to ask if anyone was or knew Distin, asking them to drop them a line if so. Incredibly, Distin herself saw the post, and was amazed by the find after so many years.

She replied:

It’s me. I tried calling earlier. This is amazing! I remember calling the next day when I realized it was gone. They said no one found it, but to call back, which I did. I had a little bit of money in it, but I needed it at the time.

I have no idea what photos are in there, or which concert ticket since I did go to many back then. Such a blast from the past, and a good one I must say. A bit of joy and much laughter which is always needed in these times.

I just want to say Thank You for reaching out. It made me happy that a place like this would go to the extent you did.

I’m grateful and will be by in a couple days to retrieve my time capsule. I can’t imagine where it was found. That has to be another story. Again, thanks, and this is something I won’t forget. I just want to see what photos, and concert ticket it was. I must admit, those were some great times back then.

wallet found at the The Majestic Ventura Theater (The Majestic Ventura Theater/Facebook)The Majestic Ventura Theater/Facebook

Speaking with the Ventura County Star, Distin, who went to collect the wallet on Friday, recalled how she had been in her early 20s when she lost the wallet back in 1975, misplacing it at what had then been a cinema.

Remarking that the find was ‘really wonderful’, Distin expressed gratitude for the positive online response and for the efforts made to track her down, noting, ‘there are good people out there’.

Featured Image credits: PA Images/Wikimedia Commons


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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: Life, California


Ventura County Star and 2 others
  1. Ventura County Star

    Woman recovers wallet lost 46 years ago at the Majestic Ventura Theater

  2. CBS Los Angeles/YouTube

    Wallet Lost In Ventura Theater 46 Years Ago Returned To Grateful Owner

  3. The Majestic Ventura Theater /Facebook