A 15-year-old boy was killed and three other people were wounded at a Long Island, N.Y., theater Tuesday when an argument erupted over loud talking during an opening-night screening of "The Godfather, Part III."
And in Washington, nine patrol cars responded to a call Tuesday night from management at the K-B Cinema on Wisconsin Avenue when about 50 teenagers tried to shove their way into the theater instead of standing in line.
That incident was resolved peacefully, according to K-B Theatres general manager Jon Bailey. The theater had no security officer on duty when the disturbance occurred. "It's not a kids' picture. It's a very sophisticated film and we didn't expect to need a guard. It was a shock," he said.
The incident delayed the 10:15 p.m. screening by 30 minutes and, in the end, the theater let in the offending teens ahead of other patrons. "We tried to do the right thing and unfortunately in this instance, we eventually had to just let them in," Bailey said. "But we've got a plan for the remainder of the run."
Bailey said the theater will hire an off-duty police officer and use crowd-control barriers. The chain's suburban theaters reported no difficulties with their screenings, he said.
Despite the incidents at his theater and the violence in New York, Bailey said he would not blame the film. "It's not particularly violent. It's very artsy and it's long and it's very sophisticated," he said. "This is not the kind of film that you would expect problems of this kind on."
Detective Willard Krausch of the Nassau County Police Department in New York said police did not think the film sparked the violence there. "I think it's just the crowd," he said. "The area itself is not known for the best of reputations."
The shooting broke out just before midnight -- about an hour into the film -- at the Sunrise Cinema in suburban Valley Stream on Long Island. About 700 people fled, police said. Spent shells recovered at the scene indicated at least four handguns were used. The movie was still running when police arrived, and they asked the projectionist to stop the film and turn on the lights, detective William Cocks told the Associated Press.
All of those hit during the gunfire were bystanders, according to police. No arrests have been made.
Tremain Hall, one of the four people hit, died at a hospital about nine hours after the incident, authorities said. Another teenager was shot in the eye and critically wounded, and a young married couple suffered lesser injuries.
The three other shooting victims were identified as Turaine Haines, 17; Patrice Candelaria, 23, who was shot in the right shoulder; and her husband, Marco, also 23, who suffered a bullet wound to his upper arm.
The Candelarias were listed in stable condition at area hospitals.
Carol Boole, a spokeswoman for Boston-based National Amusements Inc., which owns the New York theater, declined to comment yesterday on the incident.