Listen, I know we’re all excited about seeing The Transporter Refueled and Maze Runner: Scorch Trials (???) this weekend, but we might have to watch that double feature somewhere besides our favorite movie theater in our favorite New York City neighborhood. According to multiple disturbing reports, the Times Square AMC Empire 25 is infested with bugs.

The swollen elbow above belongs to Cindy Feng, a moviegoer who recently published that photo, along with the following message, on the theater chain’s Facebook page.


I’m not sure about the other locations but please please please DON’T GO TO THE TIMES SQUARE LOCATION AMC. It is called AMC Empire 25, they have many bad reviews and I was not aware of this until now. They gave me bed bugs and now I have to burn my house down and clothes. BEWARE IM TELLING YOU.

For what it’s worth, Feng’s sores don’t exactly resemble bedbug bites, which “are usually smaller, almost like zits, and they’re generally in a row of three or so,” says a Gawker employee and reluctant bedbug expert who I won’t name here to avoid subjecting him to leper-style ostracism. “It’s worse than an STD,” he added. So maybe it isn’t bedbugs at AMC, but consider the alternatives. Mosquitos? Spiders? No thank you.

Over the weekend, we heard from a Gawker reader named Joseph Matoske who found bites after seeing a movie at AMC Friday night with his girlfriend. Immediately after getting home, “we noticed we were both itchy and covered in bug bites,” Matoske wrote.

Matoske also reached out to Gothamist, and told them that he’s been in touch with an AMC representative “who claims they’re going to close down that section of the theatre.”

An AMC spokesperson told Gawker that the theater is investigating the complaints. “At AMC, we take aggressive, proactive steps, including regular inspections and inspections any time a bed bug is suspected. If any inspection comes back positive, the affected area is treated the same day by a third-party expert pest control company,” spokesman Ryan Noonan wrote in an email. “Out of an abundance of caution, increased proactive inspections are continuing at this location.”

Noonan did not immediately respond to an inquiry about whether AMC’s inspections have turned up any bugs, and an employee who answered the phone at the theater this afternoon said that all of its screens remain open.

It’s not the first time AMC has encountered bug problems: the Times Square location temporarily closed after employees found bedbugs in the seats and a patron complained about bites in 2010, and several other moviegoers have reported being bitten between now and then. “BED BUGS BEWARE THEY HAVE BED BUGSSSSSSSSSS...IF YOU GO THERE ALOT YOU HAVE A RISK OF BRINGING BED BUGS TO YOUR HOUSE SPREAD THE WORD BE CAREFUL THIS THEATER IS KNOW TO HAVE BED BUGS” a woman who identified herself as a former employee wrote on the Times Square AMC’s Google Plus page earlier this year.

“Almost every single time I went there to watch movies, I always gain contact with bed bugs” another attendee wrote on the page in 2013. Stop going there, man! There’s another theater literally right across the street.

Just yesterday, a woman named Onika Slocum tweeted that she’d been bitten as well.

Whatever the bugs are, it’s probably best to stay away for now.

Image via Cindy Feng/Facebook. Contact the author at