The AMC dine-in movie theater in Levittown was temporarily closed after health inspectors found mice inside the venue this week.
Nassau County Legis. John Ferretti (R-Levittown), who'd received complaints about rodent activity at the multiplex over the past month, accompanied Nassau County Health Department workers on what he called a surprise inspection on Wednesday. The theater voluntarily closed its doors after the inspection.
Independence Day moviegoers were locked out of the Hempstead Turnpike theater, which rebranded itself as a dine-in venue two years ago. Signs on the venue's doors apologized for the inconvenience and advised customers to check online for updates. Online, a similar message appears: "We apologize for the inconvenience, this theatre is temporarily closed."
“We take this issue very seriously, and we are working around the clock to ensure guests can enjoy their movies at this location as soon as possible,” Ryan Noonan, AMC public relations director, said in a Friday email. “AMC DINE-IN Levittown 10 receives multiple pest control inspections and treatment/prevention measures every week from a third-party pest control vendor. We will continue this aggressive pest control monitoring and treatment strategy to alleviate any issues or concerns.”
Ferretti didn't how many health inspections had been done at the theater, but he began communicating with the health department regarding constituent complaints about a month ago, he said on Thursday.
The Wednesday afternoon inspection of the kitchen, backrooms and auditoriums lasted around two hours.
Ferretti said he saw mice on the floors and in chairs of one auditorium. The auditorium was immediately shut — even with a film scheduled to begin in 10 minutes.
“After what I witnessed, I demanded it be closed down immediately,” he said. Ferretti asked the health department to send additional inspectors to check out every auditorium, which he said they did after 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Nassau County Health Department spokeswoman Mary Ellen Laurain said Friday that four sanitarians from the health department inspected the theater, which is part of the Nassau Mall.
“We will not reopen them until we do an inspection that meets our satisfaction,” she said. “Nobody wants to be around rodents or any of their droppings. People shouldn’t be paying to go to the movies and having rodents.”
Usually, when there are rodents, it is a community issue, Laurain explained before offering suggestions to deter rodents, such as not leaving garbage or birdseed that could attract them.
Rodent problems are seen throughout Nassau County, though, and no area of the county is immune, Laurain said.
“In the two hours there, I saw enough,” Ferretti said of the Wednesday inspection. “There was no way I was letting my constituents go into the theater after seeing actual mice in the theater, in the chairs.”
It is not known when AMC DINE-IN Levittown 10 will reopen.