UGC call police in cinema food row

This is the third case in as many weeks of police storming in to screenings in Paris

Police storm in to confront customer about her can of Coke and pack of peanuts - the third case of its kind this month

UGC has admitted sending armed police in to a busy cinema auditorium to confront a customer who had brought in her own food and drink - the third case of its kind in as many weeks.

The woman was visiting the UGC at Opéra in the centre of Paris with her partner to see In The Air and had brought some snacks including a can of Coca-Cola and some peanuts. Her partner paid for a soft drink inside the complex.

The cinema's manager said the woman was told on several occasions that bringing food and drink from outside was banned, but she refused to put her bag in the cloakroom and made her way to the screening.

Staff called the police, who entered the auditorium after the trailers. The three officers asked the customer to leave but eventually settled for a basic ID check before allowing her to stay and watch the film.

Another cinema-goer who witnessed the incident told Rue 89: "Everyone in the auditorium supported her and started protesting about the police presence.

"My girlfriend was terrified. She had brought a bottle of water and a brownie that she didn't dare open throughout the entire firm for fear of being caught by the police."

UGC Opéra director Thierry Matisse told Le Post that the customer had brought a see-through bag full of food and drink - "ideal for consuming in front of the telly, but when you're at the cinema you're not at home".

"Cinemas are a public space, with rules to respect," he said. "I made a gentle remark about the bag and asked her to leave it in the cloakroom. She wouldn't listen. I sent someone else to try. We repeatedly told her that we would have to throw her out if she did not comply."

"Why should I be ashamed of calling the police? It's not like I called the Gestapo," he said.

Mr Matisse said food and drink from outside was banned from UGC cinemas because of the litter and it was "absolutely not" a commercial decision.

Earlier this month, UGC in Les Halles apologised after it called police to eject a two-year-old girl and her family from a screening of Disney's The Princess and the Frog because she was two months too young to see it.

A third case involved a man who was thrown out from a screening because he had brought a sandwich with him.

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