Plagued by rats

Movie-goers received the scare of their lives when they spotted live rodents running around their seats. A dead rat added to the stink at the cinema hall on S G Highway

Rats ran up and down the seats in Row A, said Saket Shah. His friends also spotted a dead and stinking rat (right) behind one of the seats
Cinemax theatre needs a pied piper. No one else seems to be doing an adequate job of taking care of rats at the cinema hall in Dev Arc Mall. The very day Mirror reported about an Amdavadi being bitten by a rodent and Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation raiding the premises, movie buffs were overrun by rats at a late-night show. 

On Saturday, a gang of friends — mostly in their thirties — decided to catch up with each other after a couple of busy months. They booked 16 seats — A-7 to A-18 and B-12 to B-15 — for  the 9.30 pm show of Agent Vinod. A few minutes into the movie, the group sitting in row A detected a stink. Then they jumped up. “Rats were running up and down the seats. Soon we also realised where the awful smell was coming from. There was a dead rat behind one of the seats,” said Saket Shah, a resident of Satellite. 

“We drew the attention of the staff to the problem. They requested us to ‘adjust’ as they could not help us in any way,” said the 31-year-old COO of Continental Warehouse Corporation Ltd. 

Mansi Shah, 30, who was seated in row A with her young daughter said, “Imagine the fright we received on spotting so many rats jump around the seats. What if one of them had bitten my child? The theatre management had to ensure the safety of the people who come here to watch the movie. If they were really concerned about the well-being of their patrons, they would have shut down the theatre and cleaned it up properly so that such an incident is not repeated.”

Shah brought the issue to the notice of Regional Head (Cinemax) Kunal Sawhney late on Saturday. “However, he treated the matter lightly. In fact, he was very rude to us,” claimed Saket.

When Mirror contacted Sawhney, he said, “We regularly carry out pest control at the theatre. The AMC visited our place on Saturday and checked the property.” 

Blaming the mall, he said, “Most of the shops at the mall are empty. This leads rats to our property, the only place they can find food. We have written to the mall and are hopeful they will help us resolve the problem.”

However, Manager (Dev Arc) Niral Shah refused to shoulder the blame. “We do not face rodent problems. We will talk to the Cinemax authorities about this,” he said. 

The incident occurred a day after Mirror reported about a rat that chewed on Tanmay Patel, a 29-year-old businessman, who was watching a movie at Cinemax in Dev Arc mall on Friday afternoon (Ratted out; AM, March 24). This prompted AMC to conduct a check.

Deputy Health Officer (New West Zone) Milan Nayak, who checked the theatre on Saturday morning, said, “We did not find any problem with the theatre. However, if customers have faced problems, we will take action. We might even close their operations to carry out a detailed check.”

Meanwhile, the victims asked, “Will AMC just conduct cursory checks or seal Cinemax that has been violating norms of hygiene? Ahmedabad knows how deadly plague can be. Is the corporation waiting for something terrible to happen before taking any steps?”