Independence Health Department investigating claim of bedbugs at AMC theater

Posted: 9:34 PM, Oct 23, 2017
Updated: 2017-10-24 11:15:55-04

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. – The Independence Health Department is investigating a report of bedbugs at the AMC Independence Commons 20 Theater.  

A representative at the theater said that pest control did treat the theater in question along with several others on Monday as a precaution. It was triggered by a single complaint.  

In a now-viral Facebook post , Stephanie Rodriguez said she went to the theater located across the street from the Independence mall over the weekend.  

Halfway through the movie, she felt a bite from what she said was a bedbug.  

On Monday, she filed a complaint with the Independence Health Department.

The department told 41 Action News they're looking into it.  

"Typically, we're going to go out and look to see if we see any evidence of bedbugs. If we see evidence of bedbugs, we are going to ask them to close that area," Andrew Warlen, health director for the City of Independence said.  

Rodriguez provided 41 Action News with photos of her bites.  

"You'll have a whole surface where there are no bites but are along the periphery where your skin is meeting that mattress or that cushion, you'll see bites around that area," Warlen said.  

Warlen added that his departments investigate on average three to five cases of bedbugs a year.  

AMC sent 41 Action News the following statement: 

"Based on the guest report at AMC Independence 20, the theatre is currently under direct supervision of AMC Corporate’s facilities team and a third-party pest control company that specializes in the inspection and eradication of bed bugs. The theatre has received a thorough inspection and been treated as necessary. Out of an abundance of caution, every seat AMC Independence 20 will be inspected monthly by a third-party pest control company.

Bed bugs are a common occurrence in Kansas City, and AMC invests significant time, effort and expense on the inspection and treatment of this issue. Regular proactive inspections occur at many AMC locations and a theatre is inspected by a third-party pest control company anytime there is a guest report. This is an issue AMC takes seriously, and we are aggressive and vigilant about the inspection and treatment of our theatres."

This is now the latest claim of bedbugs at an AMC location.  

Last week a woman in Glendale, Arizona, said she felt the bloodsuckers feasting on her arm as she watched a horror movie. 

"It was bedbugs -- a lot -- and when I shined the light they ran and got into the crevice of the seat," Crystal Mitchell, the Arizona moviegoer said.  

In relation to Arizona, an AMC Theaters spokesperson wrote in a statement, "they're vigilant and aggressive about inspection[s]."  

In Independence, Rodriguez said the theater's management gave her four free movies passes for her troubles.  

The health director emphasized that bed bugs bites do not spread disease, but said their bites can get infected.