In most ways, this year’s National Cinema Day was a big success, drawing millions of new customers to theatres to take advantage of discounted $4 movie tickets. However, some theatres had trouble managing the rush, with several incidents of unsupervised, unruly teenagers getting into fights. So much so that a handful of arrests were reported in certain locations.
One example was the Del Amo Fashion Center in Torrance, California, where over one thousand teenagers gathered to watch a fight that broke out at the AMC Theatre inside the mall. In Boston, large fights erupted at two separate AMC locations that employees were unable to stop. The police were called to the scene, and teenagers refused to leave and began scuffling with the authorities. This resulted in dozens of arrests and customers leaving the scene amid the chaos.
There were other reports of teenagers at multiplexes roaming between auditoriums after paying for a single $4 admission, disrupting the good vibes of National Cinema Day. As Boston Police Commissioner Michael Cox put it, “I can’t think of anything good that happens when you have that many young people that age with no supervision or guidance.”
So, while National Cinema Day has undoubtedly boosted attendance during the traditionally slow period of late August and early September, in future years exhibitors will have to rise to the challenge of managing such disruptions.
See also: 13 teens arrested as Boston Police break up large fights at 2 theaters on $4 movie day (CBS Boston)