I finally got an answer from Regal Cinemas about the letter I ran last week from a guy who said he and his boyfriend were gaybaited at Regal Cinema on Union Square recently, and that the manager offered them no solace or protection. After the movie, said the guy, he and his beau were assauled by the gang of four and ended up in the hospital. Cops labeled it a hate crime.
Regal Cinemas’ Dick Westerling just called me with the following response:
“Obviously, Regal has been advised and is aware of the incident where some of our customers were allegedly injured after leaving our facility. The information we have received warrants our undivided attention. We are hopeful our guests are not seriously injured and will recover fully from their injuries. At this time, we are conducting an investigation. Regal takes such matters seriously and is working diligently to gather all the necessary facts and assist law enforcement personnel as necessary.
“This location is one of our busiest in the country, doing approximately two million guests in 2008. We have not had any previous problems of this nature at this location. In fact, one of the individuals who was involved in this situation [meaning one of the victims] had been a long term customer and had not had any problems before at this theater.”
Was one of the assailants related to a Regal employee, as the victim stated? “As we conducted our investigation,” said Westerling, “to our knowledge [they] had no relation or connection with our theater staff.”
“Our theater managers did go into the auditorium,” he added, “when the first gentleman came out and complained and said they were being harassed. When the assistant manager and floor staff went in the auditorium, they had moved and the gentleman indicated they were OK at this time. They stayed and watched the entire movie. We do feel this is an unfortunate situation, but a one-off incident as this theater has no prior history of this type of incident.”