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SPD responds to theater bomb threat
Warning called in to Carmike corporate office in Columbus
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Statesboro police cleared the Carmike Cinemas movie theater Friday after a bomb threat was made to the theater’s corporate office in Columbus, Ga.
No bomb was found, and the threat was not made locally.
Statesboro Public Safety Director Wendell Turner said no one was in the Statesboro theater, but management was called in so police and Georgia Bureau of Investigation bomb technicians could clear the building.
“There was no specific threat to any certain theater,” he said. “It was a blanket threat to all locations.”
Police, GBI agents, a GBI K-9 unit and Statesboro firefighters responded to the theater behind the Statesboro Mall around 10:45 a.m., he said.
Officers taped off the entire Carmike Theaters parking lot as bomb techs cleared the building, and around 12:30 p.m., the theater was deemed safe, he said.
Carmike officials alerted the FBI after discovering the threat in a voicemail message Friday morning, said company spokesman Terrell Mayton. He said the call was placed after hours Thursday by someone claiming to work for a contractor that provides janitorial services to Carmike.
While Mayton wouldn't discuss specifics of the call, Columbus police said the person referenced the Sylvester Stallone movie, "The Expendables 2," which opened Friday.
"It sounded like a disgruntled worker," Columbus police Lt. Bill Rawn told the Ledger-Enquirer of Columbus. He said the caller said: "'You don't pay us enough. You cut back our hours. We're not expendable. We'll show you we're not expendable.'"
Mayton said the caller outlined "some specifics to a bomb threat at certain locations," but that he did not know how many theaters were mentioned or in how many states.
Carmike owns 233 theaters in 35 states. Media outlets Friday reported police searching theaters in Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky and North Carolina.
No bombs were found. Most theaters were cleared to open before their first show times Friday, Mayton said.
A spokesman for the FBI in Atlanta did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Since a July shooting at a movie theater in Colorado killed 12 and injured 58, theaters nationwide have been on alert. Several people since have been arrested for disrupting movies and bringing firearms to theaters.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.

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