Main | Monday, August 16, 2010

Popcorn And Bedbugs

Gothamist reports today that patrons attending this weekend's premier of Scott Pilgrim at Times Square's AMC Empire 25 emerged covered with bedbug bites. The Empire 25 is the city's largest movie complex.
"The staff at the customer service desk confirmed that the theater has known of the infestation for days and that it will not be fumigated until Tuesday," says the bitten woman. "They also told me that the AMC on 125th is fighting a bedbug infestation as well." Bedbugs thrive in the dark, and have previously feasted on moviegoers in Park Slope and Sheepshead Bay. Obviously, this is just another reason to go with Netflix, but doesn't the movie theater have some obligation to warn customers that they're being dinner and a movie? Jamie, a manager at AMC who would only give his first name, tells us they did not have any notice posted, but claims that they did not know about the infestation until last night. He says exterminators will be working in the multiplex after it closes tonight, but the theater is still selling tickets for today. He also tells us that the bedbug problem at 125th street "has been taken care of." Of course, bedbugs are remarkably resilient and aren't eradicated so easily. The Park Slope Pavilion, for instance, has had repeated problems with the parasites, which can live for over a year between feedings.
According to a NY Daily News poll linked in the Gothamist article, 10% of New Yorkers now say they've had problems with bedbugs in their homes, with the infestations appearing to be most severe in the outer boroughs. (Although it's possible Manhattanites are just less likely to be truthful about it.)

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