NSW: Storm Rips Off Cinema Roof

In Australasia, Floods & Storms, News Headlines

Moviegoers in the New South Wales town of Bathurst say it will be a long time before they feel confident enough to see another film after the ceiling at their local cinema complex collapsed.

Police say a fierce storm caused the false ceiling to cave in about 1:00pm (AEDT) at the Metro Cinema on Piper Street, showering the 46 patrons with pieces of metal and plywood and trapping them inside.

No-one was seriously injured and emergency service workers were on hand to treat most for minor cuts and abrasions.

Emergency service workers say the trapped people were probably saved by the height of their chairs.

One of the people inside the cinema, Felicity Baines, says she is still in shock.

“[I’m] a little bit bruised and a little bit sore,” she said.

“I don’t think in our cinema there were any major injuries – probably a little bit of shock though – 3D will never be the same again.”

Ms Baines says she started to feel the rain coming through the roof before the ceiling fell.

State Emergency Service spokesman Phil Campbell says one moviegoer had a close shave.

“There have been reports that an internal ceiling collapsed, and also brought down some air-conditioning ducts,” he said.

“One of these air-conditioning ducts did narrowly miss a female patron.”

Commander of the Chifley Local Area Command Tony Hoolahan says it will be the job of engineers to determine the extent of the damage.

“We’re going to do a forensic analysis of the place so we’re just waiting for those,” he said.

“Once we get the all clear, those police can go through and do their jobs as well.”

The cinema has been closed indefinitely.

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