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Evacuation at Loews Georgetown Movie Theater Sunday Night

by Prince Of Petworth May 9, 2011 at 10:00 am 32 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user hellomarkers!

This was a rather strange tweet from @dcfireems Sunday evening:

“Loews Georgetown – 3100 South St (K St) NW – theatre evacuated (poss disturbance) – EMS evalauted several w/ poss inj – MPD investigating”

There were no further updates. A reader happened to be at the theater and writes:

The whole thing was very odd-
At about 9:30 our movie stopped playing and the lights came on. We sat around for a few minutes and an employee came in and said (it was difficult to hear him), “There has been a gun threat in the building, everyone has to evacuate immediately. We got outside and there was a fire truck and 2 ambulances. Because of the large number of people it was difficult to see what was going on. I did see a fireman leave the building at one point and my friend said she saw a couple of stretchers but couldn’t tell if there were people on them.

After a while they let us back in to finish the movie. There weren’t any announcements or anything. After the movie I asked a woman at the ticket booth what happened and she knew less than I did, then I asked the man at the customer service counter and he said he couldn’t say but that we could use our ticket stubs at any Loews theater in the area to see a free movie.

  • Anonymous

    Just great. This was the last multiplex theater in DC where you didn’t have to worry about some stupid juvenile drama/disturbance disrupting your enjoyment of the movie.

    • Petworthian

      I’ve been to see many many movies in DC at various theaters and have never witnessed a “juvenile drama/disturbance.” Not sure what you are talking about.

      • textdoc

        Not sure if this is what Anonymous was alluding to, but the Union Station movie theater — now defunct — used to be infamous for audience participation.

        • anon

          That’s racist!

          • anon

            Wait… what’s racist?

          • Anonymous

            It’s so true. I once watched a movie there in the middle of a snow-storm. There were maybe 12 people in the whole theater. 3 of them carried on a conversation with each other throughout the movie … despite being seated at least 5 rows apart from one another. I had more movie climaxes/cathartic moments punctuated by commentary from 16 year olds who thought what was happening on-screen was hilarious than I care to think about. It was more or less impossible to watch a film there without interruption from your fellow patrons. Man, do I not miss that place.

      • Anonymous

        Yes, Union Station was just fine in the early 90s, but then just degraded. Now I increasingly avoid Gallery Place for similar reasons.

        • Anonymous

          yeah the union station theater was basically a high school cafeteria with films. and yes it was racist.

      • Anonymous

        Yeah, clearly you never went to a movie at Union Station, or one at Gallery Place after the Union Station theaters closed.

        • Petworthian


          • Anonymous

            Look, if your hearing is so bad that you fail to notice the ongoing commentary that comes with every movie at these places, then I can’t see how you’d get much enjoyment out of going to movies in the first place, but whatever.

          • Petworthian

            Wow, so sorry to offend your need to make blanket statements about the behavior of youth in this city. I am simply relaying my experience in movie theaters, including Gallery Place, and the fact that I’ve not observed the described behavior beyond anything I’ve also experienced in any suburban shopping mall anywhere in the USA. Kids can be thoughtless and rude sometimes, but I haven’t found them to be so bad in movie theaters here.

            And I may be old (50) but my hearing is fine, thank you. Jerk.

          • Anonymous

            Have you had it tested recently? No need for name-calling.

          • Petworthian

            No need for being a jerk.

    • Tobin

      I completely agree. This was one of the last theaters where you could go and not have to worry about people providing their own DVD commentary or some other distraction. I find myself going to the movies less and less these days. Why pay 10 bucks a pop for stuff like that?

      • ProfChris

        If you could only keep those black kids out of Georgetown…which, until the 1930s, was a black neighborhood largely…movies like Fast Five would be peaceful, intellectual fare for peaceful intellectual audiences…

        • 1930s… come back.

        • Tobin

          Just so happens that I am black…and young. Sadly, it also just so happens that the majority of the people that I’m speaking of are black as well. However, I wouldn’t care if they were white, black, yellow, or purple. Point is, I should be able to watch a movie without hearing cell phone conversations and movie commentary.

    • Sadly I agree… and it has nothing to do with the color or age of the movie goers.

    • Denizen of Tenallytown

      “This was the last multiplex theater in DC where you didn’t have to worry about some stupid juvenile drama/disturbance…”

      Wherever one of the “You Got Served” series is playing, no theater is exempt.

  • Jen

    That’s weird… on the radio this morning, they said that everyone was evacuated and ran out because someone shouted “fire”.

  • Anonymous

    I used to go to the movies at least twice a week. I’ve found that the movie-going experience in this area is pretty unpleasant unless you are at a Landmark or other “arthouse” theater due to rude audiences. People talk loudly throughout films, text, and check email. Not infrequently, I’ve had people near me answer phone calls and chat loudly on the phone all through a movie.

    Unfortunately, that means I usually wait for Hollywood films to come out on DVD before I see them. I’d rather wait and enjoy the movie at home than sit in the theater and have it ruined by assholes. I still go once a week or so to see independent or foreign films at Avalon, West End, E Street or Shirlington.

    • saf

      Don’t miss the Silver.

  • Jim Ed

    Mazza Gallery is the SPOT for movies. Metro accessible and the theatre is always empty. Also, prices for films are surpisingly reasonable there.

    • Andy(2)

      Plus they have the adult theater where you can get a cocktail and bring it into the theater.

  • WDC

    The Avalon doesn’t suffer from these problems. And it’s within walking distance of the Friendship Heights metro. AND you can buy an adult beverage at the cafe and take it into the movie.

  • Racine

    This was extremely scary situation. I was in the movie theater where the threat occurred. Some man left the move screaming about Jesus Christ and happy mothers day. Then, the row where the guy was sitting left. then another man came in and whispered something to some other person in the aisle and then all of a sudden we heard a “Get the F out of the movie” we all ducked (thinking there would be gun shots) and ran for our lives. i am happy that every one was safe. this was the scariest moment of my life, so if any one knows anything, please share

    • J

      ” this was the scariest moment of my life”

      No offense, but you need to get out more.

      • WDC

        If being in a large crowd, with limited egress, while believing that gunfire is imminent *doesn’t* scare you, I think you’re the one with the problem. Racine’s reaction was spot-on.

  • Anonymous

    What movie was playing? Was it any good? The Conspirator is awful, btw

  • E

    I was actually IN THE THEATER where we believe the whole thing started– although it’s still not completely clear. Our movie was playing “Something Borrowed” and a man who had been making comments during the movie (who WAS NOT A YOUNG PERSON, but sounded more middle-aged) reacted to a scene in the movie by getting up– yelling something not completely audible about Jesus, and storming out. Someone replied by telling him to “shut up”. Not less than 3 minutes later our movie was still playing and a man ran in and shouted really loudly “EVERYBODY GET OUT NOW!!” A stampede of people ran out. While not the scariest moment, it was pretty scary. It was as if someone had yelled “FIRE!” It was a pretty packed theater. My roommate and I ran out of the exit door and eventually got out to the street, and left. Both of us were shaking, and did not want to wait around to see what happened.

    • Micah

      Wow. Please tell me that the evacs of the other theaters all commenced via the exterior emergency exits.

      Definitely a scary situation. J is a dick.


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