On Wednesday, April 26, movie goers in all 16 theaters at the Regal Greensboro Grande movie theater at Friendly Shopping Center got quite a mass scare – and it wasn’t just those movie goers who were watching horror movies.

At 7:40 p.m. on April 26, the movies playing in all the theaters stopped suddenly, the house lights came up to full brightness, a loud siren began pulsing, and warning lights in each theater flashed on an off.

The experience was jarring for many of the movie goers who, just seconds before, had been engrossed in a movie but who were now confronted with an unfamiliar warning system.  Many assumed it was a fire alarm.  Others assumed it was some other threat – but everyone seemed to realize it meant that they should flee the theater, even if the cause for the alarm was unclear.  People headed quickly for the exits, some doing so without even gathering their belongings.

Some exited the doors of individual theaters while others left through the front doors and hallway doors.  There was no real panic but there was mass confusion and many customers were alarmed.

The problem, however, wasn’t as threatening as the intense multiple alarm system led many to believe.  Theater staff in the lobby and in the hallways began announcing that the alarm had been triggered because a problem had led to all of the projectors going down at once.

They assured everyone that there was no threat and they stated that they would have the projectors up and working again as soon as possible.  After about 15 minutes, most theater goers were back in their seats and their movie of choice had resumed at the point where it had previously been stopped.