The Big Apple is well known for being chock full of arthropod and rodent pests. The city is well known for its rat population, as well as its cockroach population, and it is probably not a shock to learn that bed bugs are also an increasingly serious problem within the city. Bed bugs are well represented within New York City’s movie theaters, and one local politician is finally standing up to the insects by introducing legislation aimed at keeping the bugs out of the city’s movie theaters. Councilman Mark Levine is sponsoring a new bill that would require movie theater owners to obtain an annual certificate ensuring that their buildings are free of bed bugs. The bill focuses on having movie theater owners undergo inspections to make sure that their seats are bed bug free. These inspections would be carried out by private inspectors, and the Department of Consumer Affairs would be charged with overseeing that all procedures are properly followed.
According to Levine, New York City residents should be able to visit the movie theater without having to worry about acquiring bed bugs on their clothes or sustaining bed bug bites. In response to criticisms that claim Levine is indulging in fear-mongering, a spokesperson for Levine’s office claimed that the bill is only meant to address the occasional bed bug infestations that take form within the city’s movie theaters on a seemingly annual basis. Many New York City residents likely applaud Levine’s attempt at combating bed bugs within local theaters, as this is a well known problem in the city. For example, the AMC Empire 25 multiplex in Times Square became infested with bed bugs not long ago, and the insects were also spotted within the Pavilion movie theater in Park Slope and at the Sheepshead Bay United Artists movie theater. The bill also states that failure to comply with the certification program will result in a 1,000 dollar fine, but the penalties for repeat offences were not mentioned in the bill.
Have you ever sustained bed bug bites while sitting in a movie theater?