BURBANK, California -- "Star Wars" fans at a movie theatre in Burbank revolted after audio issues plagued the Thursday night release of the franchise's most recent iteration, "The Last Jedi," leaving many moviegoers frustrated and considering a trip to the dark side.
The incident occurred at a 9:45 p.m. showing at AMC theatre 16 near the Burbank Town Center.
Moviegoers were offered a full refund and staff attempted to move the showing to another theatre but were unsuccessful. Audio was restored after 20 minutes, but customers, who waited in line and paid $25 for a ticket to see the film, fled to the theatre lobby and demanded resolution.
Moviegoers told KTLA that instead of rectifying the situation, they were "told off" by employees at the theatre.
Video provided to KTLA of the incident features audio of frustrated moviegoers inside the theatre talking aloud of the apparent mistreatment by staff. As the moviegoers are talking, a person is heard yelling, "We don't need you here," to the negative response of the crowd. It is unclear as to whether that person was an employee.
A moviegoer told KTLA that management at the location had no idea how to handle the situation and that leadership was lacking.
Burbank Police were called to the theatre to keep the peace.
On Friday, AMC issued a statement regarding the incident:
As movie lovers, and Star Wars fans, we completely understand the disappointment of a technical issue on opening night. And we deeply apologize for the frustration and inconvenience.
During a showing last night, there was an unforeseen technical issue that caused the audio to drop off during the first few minutes of the movie. With additional shows in that auditorium still to come, and the need to test the movie to ensure the error did not occur again, the theatre team decided not to restart the film. To help remedy the situation, the theatre team offered multiple options, including refunds and passes, as well as the opportunity to see the movie in a different auditorium. Understandably, the impacted guests were very upset, and to ensure the safety of guests and associates, the theatre team followed proper security protocols.
Following the final show last night, projection engineers worked to investigate and resolve the issue. The affected auditorium has reopened without any additional incident.