Warren Mgmt Speaks About Cell Phone Incident

By: Natasha Trelfa Email
By: Natasha Trelfa Email

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Warren Theater management is speaking out about a recent incident regarding two patrons of the Old Town Theater.

"We've had instances on and off the property before but nothing this extreme," said Dan Gray, the Vice President of Theatre Operations for Warren.

Warren Theatre officials have dealt with people upset with others for using cell phones during a movie, but usually those people ask management to deal with the problem. That wasn't the case last week when a man saw a woman check her phone at the East 13th Ave. theater.

"She opened it up during the show, which isn't the right thing to do. The gentleman behind her got pretty upset, said a few cuss words at her, then went up and smacked her right in the back of the head," Gray explained.

The woman left the movie to notify them. Management then found the 61-year-old man, escorted him out of the movie and called police. Other patrons told managers they witnessed the confrontation. Managers said the man didn't dispute the woman's report. They said he even told them he'd do it again.

"All he had to do was simply come out and ask management," said Gray.

"Just because it's in a theater or with a cell phone doesn't make the circumstances any different with how we handle as situation," said Sgt. Bill Stevens, with the Wichita Police.

Officers reported they couldn't find the woman after the incident. The theater has filed a trespassing report, banning the man from any of its facilities.

"If they refuse to leave, a complaint can be signed by the representative of the business," said Stevens. "They can be arrested for criminal trespass."

While the theater says it's disappointed by the situation and stresses the importance of informing management about people using cell phones, they say the policy has been positive.

Warren Theaters recently implemented a zero-tolerance policy for cell phone use during a movie.

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