Speaker falls on teen at movie theater

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LITTLETON, Colo. -- A trip to the movies ended with a trip to the emergency room for two teenagers in Littleton on Friday night.

A large speaker fell off the back wall of the AMC Bowles Crossing Theater and fell on the heads of Garrett Keaney and Delaney Mullins, both 16, while they were watching a movie.

Keaney suffered a large gash on his head that required several stitches, and both teens suffered concussions. They were treated and released at a local hospital, but they and their families remain concerned about safety in the theater.

The teens were watching the romantic drama "If I Stay" when things took an unexpected turn.

"About halfway through the movie we heard a loud crack," Keaney said.

"All of a sudden we just felt the impact," Mullins said.

The impact came from a large speaker that had been attached to the wall above the back row seats where they had been sitting.

"I don't really remember much of it but apparently I kind of threw the speaker off of us, toward the right, and then just got up and started pacing," Keaney said.

"I looked over at him and he just had a lot of blood dripping down his face and it was getting all over the carpet," Mullins said.

Other people in the theater notified staff, who then called 911. First responders helped get Keaney to a local hospital, where doctors stitched up the large gash the speaker opened on his forehead. The impact also cut his nose and chipped his tooth.

Mullins also suffered a bruise on her head.
"We're a little sore," Keaney said Saturday, during an interview with Fox 31 Denver.

A day later they also have unanswered questions.

"I'm just so shocked," Mullins said. "How could a speaker fall down?"

"I'm hoping that they figure out a way to solve this problem because it's clearly a danger," said Randy Keaney, Garrett Keaney's father.

Randy Keaney says first responders told him the speaker weighed 60 to 75 pounds, and photos he took appeared to show they were held up by screws with drywall anchors.

"Kind of frustrated that that's all they do to put a 75 pound speaker 10 feet up, and then put chairs right underneath it," Garrett Keaney said.

When Fox31 Denver contacted AMC, spokesperson Frank Ybarra issued the following statement:

"The health and safety of our guests and associates is our top priority, and we sincerely apologize to the guest involved. Our theatre associates did everything they could to assist in the situation, including immediately calling paramedics. The equipment involved has been removed from the theatre and the area has been blocked off.

To our knowledge this type of incident has never occurred before in our theatres. We design and construct our theatres to the highest standards, and we are conducting a thorough investigation regarding the cause of this accident."

Randy Keaney said nobody with the theater or AMC had personally reached out to them.

“We haven't heard a word," he said.

In the meantime Garrett Keaney says he simply wants to make sure his injury is the both the first, and last, of it's kind at any theater.

"I'm just glad it wasn't an old person or a little kid sitting there because that could have killed them," Garrett Keaney said.

Despite the theater's promise to investigate, the Keaney's say they would also like reassurance that speakers in the other 11 theater's are safe and reinforced.

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