Smoke detector locations down at AMC theaters nationwide: Report
Posted On July 19, 2021
By KATHERINE LOVETT-TEMPLETON Associated Press TV and radio stations in New York, California, Pennsylvania and Michigan reported that smoke detectors had been disabled at more than 5,000 theaters nationwide, but that many of the locations were open for business.
Many of the venues were in areas where people often have trouble finding a parking space, and some were at locations where people were walking in or out of a theater, said Jeff Johnson, a spokesman for AMC Entertainment Inc. AMC Entertainment, based in Englewood, Colorado, said it is investigating reports of smoke detectors being disabled.
“We are currently working with the relevant local authorities to determine if these events are related,” Johnson said in an e-mail.
Smoke detectors at theaters were set to be disabled on Dec. 1.
The National Association of Theater Owners, which represents movie theaters, said in a statement that it was reviewing reports of theater smoke detectors not working.
The association’s board of directors met in New Orleans this week to discuss the issue.
The Associated Press reported that the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the National Black Chamber of Commerce also expressed concern over the problem.
The organizations said the lack of smoke detection would cause a “disaster” for the local community and would harm the ability of blacks to participate in theaters.
The AP also reported that in Los Angeles, where the Associated Press said there were fewer than 500 black theatergoers on Dec 1, a man who lives in the neighborhood where the AP was visiting said that the smoke detector in his neighborhood had been turned off.
“It’s terrible,” said Scott Wilson, who lives nearby.
“I’m just here for a film festival.
I haven’t had a chance to see a movie for years.”
The Associated News was not able to confirm whether a local resident who lives near a movie theater told the AP that the theater was having trouble detecting smoke.
At least one other theater has been reported to have been affected by the smoke detectors.
Smoke detector issues at movie theaters were an issue at many theaters nationwide last year, especially after several large theaters, including AMC Entertainment’s AMC Grand, reported that they had trouble finding parking spaces.
In January, AMC Entertainment said that it had to make temporary repairs to its theaters due to the lack or inability of smoke detector technology to detect smoke.
Some theaters in Chicago, including The Regal Cinemas, had to temporarily close after smoke detectors stopped working.
In May, AMC reported that about 500 theaters nationwide had trouble detecting the presence of smoke at some of its locations.
The company said that while the issue was being investigated, it had identified about 20 locations where the issue had been resolved.