Panicked Exit

by

Laura Garcia CannonThey say never to yell “Fire” in a crowded movie theater. A modern day equivalent situation happened to me last week. Brent and I took our nephew to see the movie “Dark Knight.” Yes, I called my sister, his Mom, before to make sure it was ok…. Anyway, we’re about an hour and a half into the film and lights start flashing, alarms start going off, the film stops rolling, the lights come up and a calm woman’s recorded voice tells us there is an emergency and we must exit the theater.

I immediately thought, “Awww, someone pulled the fire alarm!” But you can’t take chances with
something like that, so everyone got up and started to exit. A similar thing had strangely happened to us about three weeks earlier at the end of a Sunday Mass. I promise, no coincidence, we in no way were we involved, but everyone got up and calmly exited. I guess we figured we had God on our side on that one, but watching the “Dark Knight” it was a strangely different experience. A woman behind us started saying, “I’ve got to go, I’ve got to go, let me through, I’m getting out of here!!” The panic in her voice was intense. Then she started pushing. Being an over protective Aunt, highly responsible for my sister’s child, my nephew was the first one on my mind. Brent’s a big boy I knew he would lead the way. He did, and we ended up getting somehow funneled to the roof of the theater. Kind of not a good place to be if a building is burning down. But it wasn’t, thank goodness. It was a false alarm.

Now, the huge crowds scattered on top of and outside of the buildings had to somehow find their way back into the theater, but enough popcorn on the ground led the way… the movie was restarted where it left off, but made the 2 1/2 hour movie more like 3 1/2. I ended up having to leave the theater early because it ran into another appointment I had. I had to have Brent and our nephew give me the recap… a Dark Knight it was, strange afternoon. It felt like the Joker really was involved!

Laura Garcia Cannon
NBC Bay Area Anchor

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