Bed bug complaint closes Lodi theater for second day

LODI, Calif. - Lodi's downtown theater complex remained closed Monday after photos surfaced of a customer being severely bit over the weekend by bed bugs allegedly at the theater.

Theater officials posted a notice on the building insisting they're "sorry", and doing a "thorough inspection". The notice doesn't make any mention of bed bug issues.

UPDATE: Late Monday afternoon, SR Entertainment Group which operates Lodi Stadium 12 Cinemas, released the following statement:

On Saturday we were made aware of a negative experience one family of viewers had this Friday August 15, 2014 at our Lodi Stadium 12 Theaters. Our customers are our first priority so we acted as quickly as possible to identify any environmental concerns that may exist. We immediately closed the Auditorium in question to investigate, and as a further precaution, closed the entire theater on Sunday to allow for a more thorough inspection. Today, Monday August 18, we had a professional extermination team in to inspect the entire theatre including all public and private spaces. There was limited evidence of insect activity in a few auditoriums and we are entering a three-stage eradication phase during which time our theaters will be closed to the public. We fully expect to be open again with an all clear on Thursday August 21, 2014.

We are committed to providing a healthy and fun environment in which our customers can enjoy their entertainment experience to the fullest. We take any concerns that are brought to our attention very seriously and we look forward to enjoying the movies with you very soon.

Monday morning, several Clark Pest Control vehicles were parked in back of the building, and a Clark spokesperson said it wouldn't be unusual for a theater building to have a bed bug problem.

"I'm not surprised anywhere has a problem. We've been treating coffeehouses and libraries and office buildings for years," Darren Van Steenwyk said.

Moo Moo's Burger Barn is located two doors from the theater, and the closure is hurting the burger business.

"That's why we're here. They come to movies and they come to eat. Yesterday was a slow day, really slow. Hopefully it doesn't affect us too bad," manager Robert Rallens said.

The Garcias from Galt hadn't heard the theater was closed and were hoping to see a new Helen Mirren movie. They weren't rattled by the news.

"It's my favorite movie theater. It better open up again," Robin Garcia said.

Like mosquitoes, bed bugs dine on human blood, but they don't transmit disease, according to Van Steenwyk. He said high temperatures are often used by pest control companies to control the problem.

"Heat kills them. Roughly 122 degrees at less than a minute kills an adult," Van Steenwyk said.


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