Panic in the Movie Theatre

firealarm.jpgHere’s the scene.
The boyfriend and I are settled into our seats. The popcorn is half gone. I’m sitting on the edge of my seat watching the new steamy 007 Bond boy attempt Parkour in the opening chase scene of Casino Royale. It’s thrilling, I’m on the edge of my seat, I’m watching the action and wondering what will happen next. The music is building along with the action and then something is not quite right. A flashing light is going off in the theatre. I hear sirens. But I’m confused, are they from the soundtrack, or something else?

Find out, after the jump…

* photo by Johnny Blood

After a few dazed minutes, trying to discern reality emergency flashing from action movie adventure, I realized the fire alarm was going off. The movie was going strong and the soundtrack blazing. This was not the time to interrupt a movie with a fire alarm. Begrudgingly, those of us in the theatre decided it was probably best to evacuate, despite the onscreen action.

All 6 of the theatres dumped their audiences into the lobby, so it was packed. No body knew what was going on, but nobody was leaving. People lined up to get reimbursed for their tickets, others were milling about trying to find out what happened, one person was even smoking a cigarette!

Eventually we were told it was a false alarm and could go back to our theatres where the movie would be restarted. We still had half a bucket of popcorn and I was ready to find out how Bond’s pursuit was going. Once the movie was restarted there were no more interruptions. I was back on the edge of my seat watching Bond’s hot pursuit (and hot bod). I thought it was a great movie. As we left the theatre, we were handed complimentary movie passes because of the interruption. All in all, it worked out fine, contrary to my post title – there was no panic in the movie theatre last night.

9 Replies to “Panic in the Movie Theatre”

  1. The point of this post was… ? Please keep this blog on topic — things going on in and around LA that would be OF INTEREST to people living here.

  2. Then again, we can see this as a reminder that some of the biggest fire calamaties in history have occurred in public assemblage occupancies such as theaters, and that all of us need to be mindful in *finding and using* the _alternate_ exits in the event of an alarm condition.

    Taking fire alarms seriously and planning your escape can save your life. I know it sounds trite, but there are many families of those who were visiting The Station nightclub who wish their loved ones were just a few steps closer to an exit when hell erupted.

    Me? I try to have three exits from every public assemblage site planned before I let my guard down. My last choice is usually the way that I and others came in, as it is routinely the first choice of those (the majority?) who panic.

    Respectfully Yours in SAFETY and Service,

    Brian Humphrey
    Firefighter/Specialist
    Public Service Officer
    Los Angeles Fire Department

  3. Hmmm… enjoyed that post!!! Brian, absolutely right. I am an architect and emergency escape is a huuuuuge part of my design work – and like you, I do pay attention to how i might get out of a place with a large assembly. Jimbo – chill, man… you must have enjoyed the post enough to read past the jump and then comment!!! All the same, your comment gave me a chuckle. I live in LA, and the post WAS of interest to me… just for the record. Cheers!

  4. Great post (although I’d like to have known which movieplex this happened at). And since when is Jimbo the constituting arbiter of proper topics here at B.la. Down in front, dude.

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