UPDATE: 04 06 2022: 7:30 p.m.: CNA reported that Kaohsiung City Government said it will fine Vieshow Cinemas NT$60,000 (US$2,040), according to the Building Act, as the incident endangered the public. Following a preliminary investigation, the authorities have attributed the cause of the collapse to rusted metal frames in the ceiling.
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A theater ceiling collapsed during a Saturday (June 4) screening of “Top Gun: Maverick” at the Kaohsiung Far Eastern Department Store Vieshow Cinema.
On Saturday morning, online forum PTT user tonyko13 wrote in a post that he was watching a matinee screening of the film in an IMAX theater when he heard rumbling noises. “Less than five seconds later, I saw the entire ceiling fall down … and it was less than five meters from me.”
The user added, “Am I supposed to think that IMAX really has a strong effect?”
Facebook user Chang Chih-hao (張志豪) also shared photos taken in the theater, writing, “Do we need to wear helmets when watching movies now?” He added that no one was injured in the incident and joked, “You never know where Tom Cruise will fly out on an airplane from.”
Netizens commented that the audience in the theater got an upgrade and enjoyed a “5D” viewing experience.
In an interview, Chou Chung-hsin (周忠信), director of Legislator Lin Tai-hua’s (林岱樺) office, told CNA that he had been in the theater with his wife when the ceiling collapsed. As they had been sitting towards the back and the ceiling fell near the front rows, he initially thought the incident was part of the film’s special effects.
He was cited as saying that the staff at the cinema immediately turned on the lights and evacuated the audience after the collapse. Each audience member was refunded two tickets.
Following the incident, Vieshow Cinemas announced on Facebook that all screenings scheduled at the theater were canceled for the day, and those who pre-booked tickets would be refunded.
A PTT user sitting in the front row shares a photo of the scene. (PTT, tonyko13 photo)
Front row seats at the theater are covered in debris. (Kaohsiung City Government photo)
A hole is left gaping in the theater ceiling. (Facebook, Chang Chih-hao photo; Kaohsiung City Government photo)