At the end of August, bedbugs forced the Lodi Stadium 12 Cinemas in Sacramento, California to temporarily shut down. Although the theater quickly opened back up, some would-be-moviegoers were still apprehensive, fearing that they’d be bothered by the fiendish, blood-sucking parasites.
After several patrons complained that they’d been bitten by devilish bedbugs on August 17, the theater closed and called in a pest control company. According to Catherine DePrima, a spokeswoman for Santa Rosa Entertainment Group, the pest control services found “small pockets of bed bugs in limited areas of our theater.”
Working hard for the next few days, the pest control employees exterminated the vile creatures three different ways: with high heat in the theaters, seat steaming, and a chemical applicant that was put on the furniture. By August 20, they were able to rid the theater of the tiny terrors.
Lodi Police code enforcement said that it didn’t cite the movie theater because its owners took care of the problem on their own.
Opening the following day, the movie theater was met with a lukewarm reception.
“I feel like they did a good job cleaning,” said Cody Cloud, a regular patron who was pretty confident he could enjoy “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” without being bothered by tiny insects. “They wouldn’t open it if people started getting bit.”
Others, however, were not quite as sure. One couple reportedly turned tail when they heard that the theater had recently purged itself of bedbugs.
Tara Crane, a new patron of the theater, didn’t know about the pest situation when she arrived, and didn’t really care, either, buying tickets to “Magic in the Moonlight” even after learning of it.
The theater’s bedbug troubles may not have been responsible for its poor attendance on Thursday, which happened to also be the same night as the Lodi Farmers Market. Realistically, it may have been a lack of parking that kept moviegoers out of the cinema.