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Moviegoers claim bed bugs bit them at Hollywood theater

Moviegoers show off what they claim to be bed bug bites.
Moviegoers show off what they claim to be bed bug bites. CBS4

Two women said they brought their children to see a movie at the Regal Cinemas in Oakwood Plaza last month and left with more than a happy family memory. The women said they and two of their children left with painful and lingering bites from bed bugs.

Sheyla Santillana and her friend Evita Gonzalez showed CBS4 News photos of bites and scars from what they say are bed bugs.

“The next morning I woke up and I had bites behind my leg, like all over and they hurt and really itchy and it was horrible,” Santillana said.

“This itch was continuous throughout the night into the next day,” said Gonzalez.

Santillana said she’s certain the bed bugs came from the theater.

“I saw one my husband right after the movies,” she said.

Santillana said the bites took more than a week to stop itching and that scars remain. Both women said their daughters are consumed with worry about the bugs.

“It’s unacceptable,” Gonzalez said. “This shouldn’t happen, especially for the little kids because there’s nothing you can do for them.”

The lawyer for the women, Joseph Madalon, said he wants Regal Cinemas to clean the families’ homes, take care of their scars and make sure this doesn’t happen again.

“We need Regal Cinema to step up and make sure it’s a safe place for everyone that comes,” said Madalon. “If we don’t make a statement and help them change their practices, other people are gonna get hurt.”

Santillana said the shame is almost as bad as the bites.

“It’s really embarrassing,” she said. “People think you have bed bugs. You have it in your house. You’re dirty. But that’s not the case.”

Regal Cinemas released a statement late Tuesday evening which states, “The safety of our guests and that of our staff are always of the utmost importance to us and once we were notified, immediate steps were taken to investigate the allegations. We engage the services of professional pest control providers to ensure the safety of our guests and staff. We want all of our guests to feel confident that they will be safe when they attend a feature at Oakwood and in furtherance of that objective, we will continue to engage professionals to conduct routine inspections at this facility as long as necessary to ensure the continued safety of our guests and staff.”

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