Fear of terrorism has us all quite skittish but, on December 18th, this fear became more palpable at the Regal Union Square Cinema. During a showing of La La Land, a man started talking loudly on his cell phone. After the audience shushed him, the man said “Yeah, yeah, yeah, fucking shut up,” stood up and went to the front of the theatre holding a bag. He turned around to face the crowd and the entire audience panicked. People started screaming, jumping over seats, and either ran out the back exit or through the emergency doors. Total chaos reigned. Some moviegoers fell and got trampled. There were no arrests.
—Arthur Z. Schwartz