About 40 people who had paid to see a screening of Oscar-nominated movie “The Holdovers” in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, were shocked to realize after the movie ended that that they’d been locked in the theater and that the entire staff was gone.
Marcelo Alonso shared a video to Instagram of himself and other people from the audience in the lobby after they realized the theater’s staff had already locked the doors from the outside.
“Locked in the cinema Net Station, in Botafogo! The staff turned out the lights and locked us in the movie! Absurd! After yelling and calling the fire department, they pulled us out of the movie theater,” Alonso wrote in the caption.
For the Brazilian market, the movie has been retitled “Os Rejeitados,” which translates to “The Rejects,” prompting retired teacher Ruth Kauffmann to say, “It was as if we were orphans there. Look, what a drama, right? We were left without action, desperate. We had just watched the movie ‘The Rejected.’ And we feel like this: rejected.”
In the Alexander Payne-directed movie, which is nominated for five Oscars, a boarding school student (Dominic Sessa) is forced to spend his holiday break at the institution, with only a history teacher (Paul Giamatti) and cook (Da’Vine Joy Randolph) for company.
The first clue the audience had that something was wrong was when the lights didn’t come up after the end credits ran. They made their way to the lobby with the use of the lights on their cell phones, where they saw that the theater’s exterior security gate had already been set for the evening.
According to O Globo’s report (which TheWrap ran through Google Translate), the audience was trapped for about 30 minutes before being freed.
Adriana Rattes, a founding partner of Grupo Estação, told O Globo that the employee oversight was “unprecedented,” “absurd” and “surreal.”
“After 40 years in business, if we had done this more than once, we wouldn’t be working now,” Rattes told the outlet. “We’ve been digesting the matter all week. Imagine if these people had spent the night inside? I have nightmares just thinking about it.”
The employees who mistakenly locked the theater early have been “temporarily removed,” according to the article.
Rattes apologized for the error and asked everyone who was trapped to contact the theater group. Although she wasn’t offering refunds after the experience, she said, “In addition to the apology, we want to try to offer something that is a kindness to the public, after such a huge inconvenience … We want to show that, yes, we are very worried about what happened and upset.”
Meanwhile, the trying experience didn’t dampen the film’s appeal. “It’s a wonderful film. Don’t miss it!,” Kaufmann told O Globo.
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