Adonis Diaries

What is your reaction when alarm sounds in a movie theater?

Posted on: July 26, 2013

What is your reaction when alarm sounds in a movie theater?

What would you think might have happened when alarm sounds in movie theater?

What’s the first reason that comes to your mind? Does it depend on the country you live in?

Does it depend on the kind of government system you are submitted to?

If you lived in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt, Syria… is a terrorist warning first on your mind? Or this is a hypothetical conjecture: Knowing that alarms are not required or unavailable?

If you live in England would you go “Damned those defective bomb detection devices… (that were found to be (in a London High Court nonetheless) a complete fraud (….)

If you live in Lebanon, would you think that the management of the movie theater had a serious piece of intelligence that a car-bomb might have infiltrated in the parking lot?

It is plausible that a car-bomb was parked, but that management was informed of it is highly doubtful.

So, what a Lebanese might think is the reason for the alarm? Would you surmised that the alarm is to warn you of a possible terrorism attack?

The terrorists are within the walls and had started their horror rampage?

If you were in the USA, would you say “Those fucking warning devices, always a False Alarm…” and you have to submit to the drill, and the police force checking you totally naked, for bombs stuffed in your ass

Yesterday around 10 PM at #CityCenter mall in #Beirut , midway through a screening of #PacificRim , the alarm in the theater sounded for us to evacuate the building.

Samer Karam, CEO and founder of Seeqnce wrote on FB this July 9, 2013:

We casually ignored it for the first few minutes, until it occurred to us that “this is not a drill”. A little panic ensued as people made for the “emergency exits”. One couple almost got stuck in one of the endless unfinished catacombs of the mall.

Once we stepped out of the theater, the security and staff were as helpful as the Three Blind Mice, which led to more panic as moviegoers felt the situation was not under control.

In my mind, high on a litre of Diet Coke, I started fearing a car bomb would go off in the parking lot of the mall. It was not reassuring to know that #CityCenter still uses the same fraudulent bomb detection devices…

I asked one of the security guards posted at the door if we should evacuate the building on foot or should retrieve our vehicles. That’s the first he’d heard of an evacuation, and had no training to deal with such a question.

(Side Note: The mall parking lot car bomb is an exceptionally vivid memory for residents of Brummana.)

A quick coin toss in my head led me to my car which I urgently drove out of the mall and as far away as possible. Just in case.

Then I tweeted.

And posted on Facebook and searched the news outlets, etc…

No mention of the incident. No tweets to reply, no buzz. Nothing. And still nothing this morning.

Which begs the questions:
– Was this a false alarm?
– Or did #CityCenter mall avoid going public in order to avoid losing business?
– How could a Top 3 mall, in size and value, in Lebanon be evacuated in the same week as the Beirut suburbs car bombing, without any mention in the news?

Lack of information breeds mistrust.

City Center Beirut should put out a press release to reassure the evacuated that this was not a bomb scare.

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