Rodents, Bugs, Droppings: What Might Be Hiding in Your Movie Theater

Lights, camera, action, rodents? What Chief Investigative Correspondent Lisa Guerrero found will make your stomach turn.

What kind of unwanted guests are some movie theaters attracting? 

Corey Virgilio told Inside Edition's Chief Investigative Correspondent Lisa Guerrero that he was disgusted after he found bugs crawling all over the carpet at an AMC theater in Ontario, California.

“As I’m recording, zooming in, I’m seeing multiple what looks like to me baby cockroaches,” he said, adding that he only spotted them after he dropped his keys under his seat. He said he also noticed discarded food.

“There's no reason that these filthy conditions like that should have been under my seat,” he said. 

Guerrero and her team decided to take their flashlights to movie theaters in New York and New Jersey to see what they would find in supposedly clean theaters.

Some had popcorn and candy scattered across the floor, prompting Guerrero to ask, “How'd you like to pay $15 to sit around this mess?!”

The auditoriums are supposed to be cleaned in between showings, but Guerrero found discarded cups, wrappers, liquor and soda bottles, gum and even a tooth flosser. There was also a pair of socks on the ground. 

At the popular AMC theater in New York City's Times Square, Guerrero found a number of mouse traps behind the screen. “That looks like a nice mouse meal. There's popcorn and candy stuck all the way back there. It looks like it’s been dragged back there by rodents,” Guerrero said.

Guerrero then tracked down the manager of the theater. “It appears you guys have a rodent problem, are you aware of that?" she asked. The manager declined to answer and told them they had to leave.

But of all the theaters Guerrero and the team checked, an AMC at the Westfield mall in Paramus, New Jersey, had the worst conditions. They discovered a dead rodent in a trap, droppings and what appeared to be mouse nests. 

The manager agreed to take a look at what they found behind the curtain.

“So do you guys have a rodent problem in this theater?” Guerrero asked the manager. 

“No. Not really,” he replied. 

He said they have pest control experts who come once a week.

“Do you think it would be disturbing for your patrons to know that there are mouse traps and dead rodents just feet away from where they are watching films?” Guerrero asked. 

“I guess so, but it’s actually a much better solution than not having traps and having the rodents make an appearance during the movie,” he countered. 

“Similar to many entertainment venues and businesses that face the same challenges, we work closely with pest control experts at our locations nationwide. A professional pest control vendor setting traps in non-public areas is a common and effective tactic employed by AMC and many other responsible companies to eliminate potential pest activity," AMC told Inside Edition in a statement. 

“AMC's policy has always been to clean our auditoriums after every show. We also work with professional cleaning teams throughout the country for regular additional cleanings after business hours. We closely monitor and value our feedback from guests to help ensure that our auditoriums are cleaned appropriately.”