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Bomb threats force evacuations of theaters locally, across US

By 69 News, (follow: @69news), news@wfmz.com
Published On: Aug 30 2012 03:29:59 PM CDT
Updated On: Aug 17 2012 05:31:53 PM CDT

A bomb threat forced the evacuations of a number of movie theaters in southeastern Pennsylvania and across the country on Friday, officials said.

COLUMBUS, Ga. -

A bomb threat forced the evacuations of a number of movie theaters in southeastern Pennsylvania and across the country on Friday, officials said.

The Carmike Theater in West Pottsgrove Twp., Montgomery Co., near Pottstown, was evacuated around 10:30 a.m. A bomb was set to go off at 1 p.m., according to a threat phoned in to Carmike's corporate headquarters in Columbus, Ga., police said.

"We have these dogs here going through the theater and see if we find anything," said Detective Sgt. Steve Ziegler, West Pottsgrove Twp. Police Dept.

Police officers and bomb-sniffing dogs from Montgomery, Chester and Philadelphia counties searched the building for more than two hours, but they didn't find anything. Police said they would remain at the theater throughout the day.

"You think you could enjoy yourself and just go out and have fun. You really can't do that anymore," said Kaylee Stahl, a witness. "I just think it's scary. This shouldn't be happening."

"It's like I really don't want to even take myself or my son to the movie theater anymore because I'm just terrified," said Jennifer DuVal, a witness.

Around the same time, Carmike Theaters in Wyomissing, Berks Co., and Hanover Twp., Lehigh Co., were also evacuated, state police said. Nothing was found at either theater, police said.

"What are you going to do? Some people are just jerks," said Same Stalsby, a moviegoer in West Pottsgrove Township.

Were you evacuated from a theater in our area on Friday? 69 News would like to hear from you. Email news@wfmz.com or call 610-791-1111.

The evacuations followed a threat called in to Carmike's corporate headquarters that said there were bombs in several of the company's theaters, officials said.

"We've had a threat that was telephoned in by an individual who identified themselves as an employee of a vendor of Carmike, indicating a threat to several locations," said Terrell Mayton, director of marketing for Carmike, who would not disclose details of the caller's threat except that the movie, "Expendables 2," was mentioned.

"Expendables 2," a sequel to a 2010 movie, features a host of action stars, including Sylvester Stallone, Jet Li, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bruce Willis, Chuck Norris and Arnold Schwarzenegger. It opened Friday in theaters across the U.S. and Canada.

Carmike Theaters in Tennessee, Illinois, Oklahoma and Georgia were among those across the country that were evacuated, according to various news reports.

"We've cleared many of the theaters that were implicated in the threat and continue to do so, and in the remaining locations that we expect to have a safe and fun environment and to open for guests this afternoon around the country," Mayton told 69 News.

Friday's threat came exactly four weeks after James Homles allegedly shot and killed 12 people and wounded dozens more during the showing of a Batman movie at a theater in Aurora, Colo.