A Florida mall had to change its policies after hundreds of teenagers stormed the movie theater because they wanted to see “Fifty Shades of Grey.”
Though estimates of the mob's size vary, it may have contained as many as 900 youths attempting to swarm the mall, Orange County deputies told Click Orlando. Around 200 of them managed to get into the theater, deputies said.
The stampede was an apparent attempt to circumvent the policy of not allowing minors under 17 to see the R-rated flick without an adult accompanying them, according to the West Orange Times and Observer.
The West Oaks Mall announced on Monday that for now, anyone under the age of 17 must be accompanied by an adult if they’re on mall property at all after 9 p.m.
Although there were initially reports of gunfire, those reports turned out to be incorrect, an Ocooee police spokesperson told WESH. The gunshot-like sound was actually created by fireworks in the parking lot, police now say.
“They weren't smashing windows. They weren't crashing in to steal anything. They were just saying, 'Hey, I can get in and see a free movie," Ocoee police Lt. Mike Bryant told the station.”
Nevertheless, the chaotic scene caused multiple people to call 911. “I think they've locked the doors,” one caller said. “I can't, we can't figure our way out.”
Police also said they arrested one minor on charges of battery and resisting arrest, and another on a drug charge.