Tysons movie theater open after small blast during Saturday night showing of ‘Godzilla’

A Tysons Corner movie theater is open Sunday as Fairfax County fire department officials continue to investigate the cause of a small explosion at the theater.

A Saturday night showing of “Godzilla” was interrupted by “popping noises” after what police now say was the “detonation of two soda bottle ‘chemical’ devices.”

No one was injured during the incident or the rush to evacuate the theaters in the AMC Tysons Corner 16 complex at about 12:15 a.m. Sunday, said Lucy Caldwell, a police spokeswoman. Emergency dispatchers received a flurry of calls describing the sounds of firecrackers or gunshots which caused panicked patrons to flee the theater, she said.

“People were very alarmed and afraid last night,” Caldwell said. “There were a lot of people in the mall and in that area.”

In a statement Sunday, police said there were two devices near the entrances of two of the movie theaters. Police said officials evacuated all 16 theaters and the food court to ensure “there were no additional devices in the area.”

The Fairfax County Fire Marshal is trying to determine the exact substance that was inside the bottles and how the devices ended up in the theater. Deputy chief Michael Reilly described the devices as “acid bombs” containing an explosive mixture of acid and metal.

“They don’t know if the person left it or threw it,” Caldwell said.

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Ann covers legal affairs in the District and Maryland for the Washington Post. Ann previously covered state government and politics in California, New Hampshire and Maryland. She joined the Post in 2005.
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