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Woman claims bed bugs bit her at Independence movie theater

Posted at 9:33 PM, Aug 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-27 23:12:16-04

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — A movie theater that has a history of bed bug complaints now has another one.

Shannon Cunningham told 41 Action News Monday that she believes bed bugs bit her at the AMC theater in Independence.

“We were there for about 10 minutes of the previews and the next thing I know, we're sitting there in the dark and I start getting ate up,” Cunningham said. “It felt like crawling, like something was moving on your ankle, like going across your leg.”

The Buckner, Missouri woman said she later found two red marks she believed were bites. She said those marks later swelled up.

Cunningham said she took her complaint to a manager, who told her they’ve had several complaints.

“He stated that they are trying to do something about it and how there's been bug companies out constantly,” she said. “But he says it's been a problem for quite some time.”

41 Action News previously reported on a claim of bed bugs in October 2017. There have been other reported claims this year as well.

In a statement, Leawood, Kansas based AMC theaters said the theater is on a “proactive inspection schedule.” A spokesperson said this means a third-party pest control expert inspects the facility three times a month.

“Among 27 inspections at AMC Independence Commons 20 in 2018, just two individual bed bugs have been found all year, which triggers a treatment of the affected area,” the spokesman said. “Because of the high frequency of inspection, and because any evidence results in treatment, it is nearly impossible for an infestation to occur.”

41 Action News also looked up recent health department inspections of the theater. The most recent happened on July 23 of this year. Inspectors found no critical violations but found a few non-critical violations.

According to the health department’s website, a non-critical violation is “a violation relating to maintenance and cleanliness of Food Service operations."

The inspection on the health department’s site says those non-critical violations include “facilities not being maintained in good repair” and “physical facilities not cleaned as often as necessary.”

“They need to take better precautions if people are complaining about it," Cunningham said. “The people that are coming out to spray are not either doing something strong enough or you need to shut it down until it's taken care of.”