Health inspectors find live mouse and droppings inside popular movie theater

DENVER -- A popular movie theater in Denver is dealing with some unwanted moviegoers.

On Monday, Denver health inspectors found live mice and their droppings inside the AMC Showplace Theatres at Cherry Creek Mall.

The inspection was prompted by a customer who said she saw mice inside theater No. 2.

“I was looking at the movie and I turned and looked and a mouse was watching me," Marla Sneed said.

She said there were several mice scurrying on the floor by her feet.

Sneed called Denver’s Department of Environmental Health to report the incident.

“Our response is to always conduct an investigation,” said Grace Nelson with the city’s Public Health Inspection Division.

Movie theaters that sell concessions are subject to routine inspections just like any other restaurant. They are also subject to spot checks upon receipt of a complaint.

“[The inspector] started by inspecting the food handling area, which is where our authority really is in that theater,” Nelson said.

According to the inspection report, no rodents or droppings were observed in the concession area. The same can’t be said for areas beyond the food preparation stations.

“The investigator did note a small amount of droppings and one live mouse in a hallway that only is accessible to staff,” Nelson said.

The report says “approximately 50 small rodent droppings and one live mouse were observed in the service hallway underneath the projector in theater #2.”

Still, AMC was not cited for any critical health violations in the inspection report.

“Because we didn’t see any evidence of rodents or droppings in the food area that was not documented in the inspection report,” Nelson said.

“We determined that [the mouse] was far enough and separated enough to not document it on a food inspection report.”

But Sneed is not satisfied with that answer.

“I don’t care if it’s not in the food prep area. I don’t want to sit in my seat and eat popcorn if I’m eating with the mice,” she said. “I won’t go back in there until the problem is corrected.”

According to the report, the movie theater has been working with a pest control company to get rid of the rodents, will deeply clean the area and set extra traps.

However, past inspection reports showed AMC Cherry Creek has had problems with mice on and off for the past 3 1/2 years.

Inspections done in March 2014, August 2016 and February revealed live mice and droppings found within the food prep areas, food line and cabinets where food items and popcorn containers are kept.

AMC Cherry Creek management directed questions to AMC’s corporate headquarters in Kansas, and calls were not returned.

AMC Cherry Creek is scheduled for a follow-up inspection in two weeks.