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Bed bugs found at Times Square theater

August 18, 2010 3:33:45 PM PDT
The pesky bugs have popped up in homes and recently in stores. Now, one customer says she found them at a Times Square theater.

"I got them at the movies last night," Katheryn Prior said.

Prior has big ugly welts on her body and claims she was bitten by bed bugs while attending a movie at AMC Empire 25 last Sunday.

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"I lifted up my arm and I said I got all the bites, and they immediately looked at each other," she said. "I didn't even say bed bugs and they just said they did have bed bugs in the theater."

AMC officials tell Eyewitness News that a concern arose over the pests on August 3.

"We took immediate action to inspect the building and closed it for proper treatment as soon as possible," a spokesperson said.

AMC says it is passionate about satisfaction and cleanliness.

The blood-sucking bugs have also begun appearing in stores. A recent pest control survey found that 40 percent of bed bug problems now occur in commercial businesses.

Earlier this summer, bed bugs were found in a New York City store owned by Abercrombie and Fitch. The store shut down while professionals came in to get rid of the problem.

Prior says she was bitten at the theater 12 days after the company says the problem was treated.

"Two weeks with all the bed bugs in the city and busy theater on 42nd Street that gets hundreds of people every day," she said. "I'm sure that is more than enough time to get re-infested."

AMC says the auditorium where Prior saw the movie did not have the bed bug problem on August 3.

"We quickly re-inspected the auditorium in question and upon finding bed bugs in that auditorium, which had previously tested negative on August 3," the spokesperson said. "We immediately closed it until it receives treatment."

AMC Empire 25 was closed late Tuesday night so exterminators could treat each theater. The theater would reopen on Wednesday. AMC planned to repeat the process in two weeks.

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