Two live diamondback rattlesnakes were set loose inside the AMC Desert Ridge theatre in a northern area of Pheonix, Arizona, during a recent showing of Snakes on a Plane, according to a Local 6 News video report. (Click here.) Apparently a couple fo young guys (teens, I’m guessing) snuck the rattlers into the theatre in their backpacks and let them slither out onto the floor while the New Line thriller was playing.
The Local 6 report says the two snakes “caused a panic in the dark theater.” Well, naturally, but for that to happen someone had to get up and yell “live snakes in the theatre!” If the theatre was even half-filled the panic would have been terrible. I wonder how crazy it was in there. If I were in the theatre I would have stepped from one row of seats to the next — my feet would have never touched the floor.
Somebody should do some shoe-leather reporting. This Local 6 report has no details, no emotion — a poor job. Who discovered the snakes and how? Was it an usher or a moviegoer? Who sounded the warning?
There’s a herpetological association rep named Tom Whiting who’s quoted as saying that the idea of live snakes in the theatre “is very scary…I would hate to be watching a movie about snakes and have a rattlesnake bite me.” My God…did this man take sound-bite lessons from Exhibitor Relations spokesperson Paul Dergarabedian? That quote captures the Dergarabedian style to a T. Could it be that the Dergarabedian method — keep your quotes plain and obvious and a little simple — be influencing others?
Wranglers were called in to collect the snakes, the report says. No one was bitten and the culprits haven’t been caught.