Cold at Carmike: Roof leak turns Avatar into water world
Avatar may be known for its cutting edge special effects, but some moviegoers catching James Cameron's latest blockbuster at Carmike 6 on Christmas Day– less than a week after the so-called Snowpocalypse– experienced a not-so-special effect: a partially collapsed ceiling that dumped cold water on at least one unsuspecting patron.
"We heard a weird sound," says Jason Coleman, who'd taken his two kids to see the 4:30pm show after the 3:30 screening was cancelled due to problems with a sound system. At first, Coleman says, they attributed the noise to poor theater etiquette.
"We thought it was some guy being loud eating a few rows behind us," he says. "Then we noticed water coming in."
It wasn't long before the leak turned into a bigger problem.
"That roof," says Coleman, "opened up and poured like a giant bucket on people."
Just 40 minutes into the nearly three-hour movie, Coleman says, he and his 10-year-old son and 14-year-old daughter, accompanied by a friend and his son, immediately left– as did everyone else in the theater.
"We figured if it could happen in that spot, nowhere was safe," he says, noting the voluntary evacuation went smoothly and that after some initial gasps, there was no panic. Once in the lobby, Coleman says, he saw one obvious victim of the roof leak: a soaking wet teenaged boy who, Coleman says, did not appear to be overtly distressed or physically harmed.
Carmike manager Lee Rebouche confirms the leak– only one ceiling tile fell, she says– and says refunds or ticket vouchers were immediately offered, as they were during a mid-December heating failure, although that didn't satisfy everyone.
"One guy said we deliberately ruined his Christmas," says Rebouche, who adds that while she shares in the patron's frustration, there was nothing the theater could have done to prevent today's problem. She says that the fire department assured her the Carmike– with its flat roof– is not the only building experiencing leaks following last week's near record-breaking snow storm and today's rain.
Coleman says he and his family took the disappointment in stride– noting that they'd already missed out on the 3:30 show because of the sound problems and had spent an hour driving around waiting for the 4:30 show to start.
"We were doomed to not see that movie today," he jokes.
Rebouche says two of the three Avatar theaters will remain closed at least through tomorrow awaiting repairs. The updated Avatar showtimes are available at cvillemovies.com.