Eastridge theater evacuated due to water main issue

July 21, 2012 11:08:33 PM PDT
Frightened patrons were evacuated from an AMC movie theater at Eastridge Mall in San Jose just after noon Saturday. Mall security called the evacuation a false alarm.

Cellphone video was shot moments after the entire AMC movie theater and Eastridge Mall were evacuated. It was a stressful, but orderly exit as all 15 theatres emptied.

"Forty-five minutes into the movie, someone came in and basically told everyone to evacuate," said Andrew Nguyen, an evacuee.

Nguyen was watching the new Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises" when alarms started sounding. According to San Jose police, there was no emergencies, no crimes, and no threats reported. It was a simply an issue involving a water main alarm malfunctioning. As a result, the entire Eastridge complex was shut down for 30 minutes.

"I thought it was a repeat of what happened in the other state," said Ann Elizaga, an evacuee.

Theatre management in several major Bay Area cities, including San Jose, have upped security in light of Friday's attack in Colorado. Many have brought in extra private security guards, while San Jose police have told officers to patrol theatres on foot and by car if they aren't responding to a call.

Elizaga still plans to take a break from the movies this weekend. "When something like this happens, like today, it just scares us."

As for movie goers forced to evacuate, they can come back to the theater and get passes to go to any AMC theater and see any movie, for the next year.


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