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Alleged Bed Bug Infestation Temporarily Shutters Lodi Movie Theater

LODI (CBS13) – Lodi Stadium 12 Cinemas posted signs on door their doors Sunday, saying they are closed for the day as they do a thorough inspection.

But while they don't explain what that inspection is for, moviegoers believe they know exactly why.

Matthew Wendt's niece and her friend did what they normally do on a Friday night: go to the movie theaters. But it's what they left with that has them frustrated.

"Really inflamed, red, itchy and painful," said Wendt.

"I seriously got out of bed, took off my clothes and looked in the mirror and they were everywhere," the girl said.

Their bodies are covered in bug bites. The girls didn't want to be identified, fearing they would be teased at school. A trip to the doctor's office and the answer was bed bugs.

"I was scared, nervous," the girl said.

Wendt says he immediately contacted the theater. But on Saturday, the theater opened as usual. It wasn't until later in the day that Wendt says he got the confirmation he needed from managers.

"He called me and said that they actually found bed bugs inside the theater," Wendt said.

Wendt says he's disappointed with the way things were handled – especially after he says the manager admitted to him they'd found bed bugs in the theater in the past.

"I wish they would have taken it a little more seriously when I first came in and shut down the theater and looked into it right away, instead of letting more people go in," Wendt said.

He posted the photo of his niece's bites on the theater's Facebook page, wanting the community to know what happened. It was that same photo that caught the attention of Stephanie Booth. She says she and her daughter came to the theater a couple weeks ago and left with the same type of bug bites.

"We both broke out in bed bugs and we still have them. It's upsetting and I want to talk to management about it," Booth said.

But no one was around. Instead, signs were posted telling customers the theater is closed for the day as they do a thorough inspection.

Wendt says they want answers.

"We have a four month old at son. We're really worried about him getting bites, our house being infested, how much it'll cost to get rid of them if we have them," Wendt said.

We reached out to the theater for comment but our calls were not returned as of Sunday night. However, theater staff appeared to respond to concerned customers on their Facebook page, saying they would have pest control coming out Monday.

The problem seemed to be isolated to one theater, according to the responses.


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