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Star Wars screening in Oxford evacuated after fire alarm goes off

  • 12-21-2015

Hundreds of fans, some in fancy dress, were evacuated from a midnight screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens after a fire alarm went off.

Cinemagoers said the screen went black and there was "loud noise" at the showing of the much-anticipated film at the Odeon in George Street, Oxford.

Matt Sumption, 23, who was dressed as Han Solo, said: "Suddenly everything cut out and there was a loud noise."

Odeon said: "We sincerely apologise for the disappointment."

A company spokeswoman said: "Guests were evacuated as a safety precaution following the activation of our fire alarm system.

"We're offering guests a full refund and will do everything to help them see the film as soon as possible."

Updates on this story and more from Oxfordshire

'Chewbacca was outside'

Mr Sumption, who is from Brighton but studying philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford University, said: "Everyone filed out, annoyed but still good-natured.

"There was a slight smell of burning.

"It was quite surreal as I was dressed in my most dashing Han Solo outfit; there was Princess Leia and Chewbacca all outside."

Mr Sumption said audience members were told to return to the cinema, but after sitting in front of a blank screen for half an hour were told to go home.

He said: "The communication was very poor. It wasn't clear if they knew what the problem was.

"Staying up, with all your friends, it's something people were really looking forward to so this was a disaster."

Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service said the call to the cinema was a false alarm.

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Reproduced under licence from BBC News © 2015 BBC

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