The man had booked to be one of the first to watch No Time to Die – the new James Bond film – at the 00.01 screening at the Odeon Cinema in the Trafford Centre, Manchester, where the alleged incident happened
A man was allegedly punched in the head by another cinema-goer in an apparent mix up over seats ahead of the new James Bond film.
The man, who has not been named, had booked to be one of the first to watch No Time to Die at the 00.01 screening at the Odeon Cinema in the Trafford Centre, Manchester, on Thursday.
He had settled into his seats with three friends to watch the eagerly anticipated 007 thriller starring Daniel Craig, when he says Odeon cinema staff asked the group to move seats over an apparent booking mix-up.
When he refused to move, showing a screengrab to prove that he booked the £13 seats he was in online, he claims a man started punching his head in the packed cinema.
Police are investigating the incident.
The victim told the Manchester Evening News: “It appeared to be that the cinema system had done something wrong with the bookings, they were trying to move people and said my seats were the ones in front, but I took a screenshot of the seat numbers I’d booked so I knew I was in the right ones.
“While the Odeon staff member started talking to me, this guy said that I needed to move, I was like: ‘I’ve waited two years to see this film, I bought those tickets as soon as they went on sale at 3am in the morning and I was very happy about that’ but they were trying to tell me to move.
“This guy popped round from the side of me and told me to move but I said: ‘excuse me I’m speaking to the staff member’ and he was shouting ‘just get out of my seats’.
“I told him to shut up and he went in and punched me, I was sat down, he was above me, I was looking at the staff from the Odeon, it was a shock.
“I got hit a few times on the head and my hand as I put it up to protect myself before he got pushed away or pulled away.
“Then they started to leave the cinema – we were all in shock and my friend asked the staff member ‘aren’t you going to stop them?’ She then got on to radio to security, and they stopped them outside of the cinema.
“In my head I was thinking I was ready to watch James Bond – but I then got told my head was hurt and basically that I needed to get first aid.
“They took me to the Costa in the cinema who gave me some ice for the injuries on my head, but we were told there was no one on site to deal with it as they could only deal with cuts, bruises and burns.
“My details were taken and I was told to go to hospital.”
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The 41-year-old man waited nine hours at A&E for an X-ray and to be examined before being able to leave at 10am on Thursday – but has still not been able to see the James Bond movie.
He says cinema staff at the time refunded the group’s tickets and food purchases, and gave them tickets to return to a showing at another time.
But the James Bond superfan says he remains upset over how he says the situation was handled.
He said: “We entered the cinema with our QR codes which were checked with our seat number and rows at the time and at no point did they say we needed to move until the lights went down in the cinema.
“Film is a massive interest of mine, it’s massive escapism, but they’ve basically now ruined that for me because of their bad system and mismanagement.
“Nobody should be assaulted full stop but one of the last places you expect it to happen is in a cinema.
“We’d gone out of our way to see that showing, the 00.01 showing was the very first one after its release.
“I’m a massive Bond fan and I also didn’t want any spoilers, you wait two years to see a film because of a pandemic, it was the most highly anticipated film of the last few years.”
The Odeon Cinema declined to comment when contacted by the MEN. The Mirror has reached out to the group for comment.
The man says the police have still not been back in touch with him about the incident, as they attended the cinema after he’d already been taken to hospital.
When the MEN asked GMP for a comment they said: “We were called at around 12.15am on Thursday 30 September to a report of an assault in a cinema room at the Trafford Centre.
“A 41-year-old man was injured and an 18-year-old man is under investigation while enquiries continue.
“Anyone with information should contact police online, if able, or via 101 quoting incident 35 of 30/09/2021.
“Details can be passed anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
The Mirror has contacted GMP for further comment.