Heavy rain from Hurricane Sandy dumped water on moviegoers at the Phoenix Big Cinema on Monday night.
Patrons sitting inside theater No. 16 told emergency responders they “smelled something electrical” around 8:30 p.m. while the movie was playing.
Kirwan Heights fire Chief Mark Lewis said the water that flooded inside was contained to that one theater. He did not know how many people were inside the theater or which movie was playing at the time.
Lewis said it appeared that there had been a leak in the theater’s ceiling for some time and the heavy rain from Sandy exacerbated the problem. Lewis estimated the Kirwan Heights area received about three inches of rain.
“It was an old leak,” Lewis said. “When you get all of this rain, it just let go.”
The theater was formerly known as Destinta until Phoenix Big Cinema bought it over the summer and made some improvements to the sprawling building located at Chartiers Valley Shopping Center.
Big Phoenix officials could not be reached for comment to discuss the damage to the theater.