NEW YORK - The AMC Empire 25 movie theater complex in Manhattan's Times Square area shut its doors Tuesday night to deal with a bed bug problem.
AMC said it has been testing and treating its theaters after getting complaints from some patrons about bites. The company said it inspected the Empire 25 Tuesday and found bed bugs in an auditorium that had previously tested negative. AMC shut down the complex, located on West 42nd Street, and began treatment leaving moviegoers Tuesday night shut out.
A spokesman for AMC said that the theater will be treated again in two weeks, as is recommended by pest control specialists. Bed bugs have seen a phenomenal resurgence in New York in recent years. Once uncommon in industrialized nations, the bugs have become such a problem that the City Council created an Advisory Board to figure out how to deal with the critters.
Since 2009, bed bugs infestations have hit the Brooklyn District Attorney's office, Victoria's Secret, Abercrombie and Finch, John Jay College, Manhattan College and even offices of the city's Health Department.
Bed begs, which feed on human blood, are not known to transmit disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.