Cinema Threat Doesn’t Faze Bella Vista Movie-Goers
Movie-goers took comfort in a search by Bella Vista police that turned up nothing suspicious at the Carmike Sugar Creek 10 theater on Friday.
Police set up perimeter around and searched the Sugar Creek theater after the Carmike corporate headquarters in Georgia received a bomb threat targeting nine of its theater locations.
Investigators say Carmike received two threatening phone calls. The caller said the nine cinema locations were be targeted when the theaters opened.
“We responded and did a sweep of the building [and] found nothing,” said Bella Vista police officer Terry Dickey. “We take everything seriously, so we wanted to go in and make sure there was nothing that was gonna be a danger.”
Bella Vista police have an officer stationed at the theater as a precaution. There was mixed reaction from patrons after learning the theater was a potential target.
“I think any time you have a big large group of people, some weirdo out there.. it’s gonna happen,” Sandi Branson said Friday. “You’re gonna get threats.”
Some who made their way into the Bella Vista cinema weren’t concerned.
“We’re gonna have officers in the area, [and] I believe everything will be fine,” said Herb Branson. “When I found out the police department cleared the building, that pretty much takes the fear [away].”
Nationally, movie-goers and theater employees have been on high alert since 12 people were shot killed and more than 50 others injured when police said a man opened fire at the Batman movie premier in Aurora, Co., last month. Suspected shooter James Holms is facing 142 charges, including first-degree murder.
Carmike theaters around the country also took precautionary measures Friday.
Carmike has 236 theaters in 35 states.