Cinema Suspends Screening of Gang Movie After Man Stabbed

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 14: (L-R) Stephen Odubola, Rapman and Micheal Ward attend the World Premiere of "Blue Story" at Curzon Cinema Mayfair on November 14, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for Paramount)
Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for Paramount

The British cinema chain Cineworld has suspended screenings of gang movie Blue Story at one of their theatres in Nottingham, England, following a stabbing during the end credits.

A 20-year-old man had reportedly been stabbed at the Cornerhouse Cineworld complex on Sunday at 8:15 pm. The victim was taken to hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.

One witness told The Telegraph that most cinema-goers fled the screening room in “panic” as a fight erupted, while some stayed and “watched it unfold”.

Police had arrested a 16-year-old on suspicion of grievous bodily harm and carrying a bladed article while a 23-year-old was arrested on suspicion of having a bladed article, reports NottinghamshireLive.

One shopper told the regional news outlet on Monday that they were not shocked by the event “because it’s happening all the time, it’s starting to become like a natural thing, that’s the case anywhere”.

Cineworld has scrapped five screenings, but Blue Story listings are shown for later in the week.

The incident came after two other British cinema chains — Vue and Showcase — temporarily banned the movie across all of their chains after a mass brawl of around 100 youths, some carrying machetes, at a Vue movie theatre in Birmingham last week.

Blue Movie tells the story of two friends from rival postcodes who become involved in a turf war between competing gangs in south London.

Director Andrew Onwubolu (pictured above, centre, with the film’s two protagonists Stephen Odubola and Micheal Ward) claimed that there was no connection between the Birmingham brawl and his movie, suggesting that the decision behind the bans was racist.

Onwubolu, also known as Rapman, told the BBC last week: “And then you start thinking, is there hidden reasons there? What’s the owner like? Has he got an issue with young urban youth? Is he prejudiced? Does he believe that this film brings a certain type? Is there a colour thing?

“You start thinking of all these things, and it was an upsetting time.”

Vue defended its decision to ban the movie, saying that the Birmingham incident was far from the only one.

In a statement released last Monday, a spokesman for the cinema chain said: “The decision to withdraw Blue Story was not one taken lightly or without careful consideration of our experience across the country. The film opened in 60 of our sites across the UK and Ireland on Friday the 22nd of November, but during the first 24 hours of the film, over 25 significant incidents were reported and escalated to senior management in 16 separate cinemas.”


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