BENJIE Alberes canceled his plans for a movie date with his wife after he saw on TV the news about the collapse of part of a movie theater’s ceiling in the Ayala Center.

As a DVD vendor, Alberes could just as easily watch the latest movies in his store in downtown Cebu but he wanted a date at the cinema because he is a fan of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s movies.

Nagplano na unta mi sa akong asawa nga manan-aw ug ‘Terminator 4’ sa Ayala, unya unsaon ta man nga nahugno man didto (My wife and I planned to watch ‘Terminator 4’ in Ayala, but the ceiling collapsed),” said Alberes, who owns one of the biggest DVD stores along Colon St. in downtown Cebu City.

He also noted that the incident does not seem to have a direct effect on DVD sales.

The same goes for Catheryn Baril, who also makes a living selling DVDs.

Rona Francis, a ticket seller at Oriente Mall, said some moviegoers were vocal about going to their theater because they wanted to avoid a collapsing ceiling, as well as avail themselves of cheaper tickets.

Adjustment period

The collapse of part of Cinema 5’s ceiling hurt nine people late last June 15. An initial investigation by Cebu City Hall and the mall management showed the collapse was caused by water from the sprinkler system, which soaked the acoustic boards.

Food concessionaires surrounding the cinemas in Ayala were also affected.

Coffee Dream barista Lolit Estremos observed a decline in the number of customers right after the incident. She said most moviegoers often pass by their stall for a cup of coffee.

People who buy tickets usually crowd the area especially in the peak hours of noon and 6 p.m., but the opposite was observed for the last two days.

Tater’s cashier Lyn (who asked that her real name be withheld) said they had many customers on the day the incident happened because senior citizens get free movie tickets on Mondays and Tuesdays. But Lyn expects things will go back to normal in no time.

Yesterday, there were some who went to watch movies in Ayala. One of them was Sheena Caña, who watched “Just The Way You Are" together with two friends. She said she did not give much thought to the collapse, and she was even worried about the cinemas closing for the day.

Wala ra man kaayo ko na-affected ato, murag nakalitan lang siguro ang mga tawo, pero nagpadayon man gihapon mi’g tan-aw diri (I wasn’t really affected by it. Maybe it just happened so suddenly and the people were stunned, but we still continue to watch movies here),” Caña said.