Bedbugs banished before Toronto fest gets underway

Tue Aug 31, 2010 3:35pm EDT
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By Etan Vlessing

TORONTO (Hollywood Reporter) - Standing-room-only movie viewing at the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival won't be necessary after a key theater was declared free of bedbugs Tuesday.

The news followed a health scare Monday at the Scotiabank Theater, the main venue for press and industry screenings during the upcoming September 9-19 festival, after a patron complained of being bitten by the beasties while watching a movie.

Cineplex Entertainment, which runs the theater, said Tuesday that exterminators and trained sniffing dogs investigated the venue overnight and concluded it was pest-free.

"At Cineplex, the safety and security of our guests and staff are our number one concern, which is why we took this claim very seriously and acted immediately," Pat Marshall, vp of communications at Cineplex, said.

Toronto has experienced a bed bug infestation during the recent heat wave, but Cineplex also ventured Scotiabank guests may have jumped to conclusions after high-profile movie theaters in Manhattan were recently overrun by bed bugs.

"Recent media coverage related to two New York City theaters has caused a flurry of media calls and guest inquiries and unfortunately has lead many people to jump to erroneous conclusions," Marshall said. "However, we took the matter seriously and fully investigated it," she added.