'Water was pouring in from behind the screen' at Chorley cinema as people evacuated from flooded leisure outlet

Customers were evacuated from Reel Cinemas in Chorley last night, as 'water began dripping in from the ceiling'

By James Holt
Wednesday, 28th July 2021, 3:45 pm

And multiple other businesses in Market Walk were also forced to shut and evacuate customers yesterday afternoon, July 27, after a downpour of rain caused the roof to begin leaking and 2,000 litres of water was pumped out.

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One woman, who has asked to remain nameless, was watching a film with her children at the Reel Cinema when she heard a 'loud trickling noise' that she first thought was part of the film, but turned out to be water pouring in from behind the screen.

Entertainment venues had to evacuate yesterday due to the heavy downpour

She told the Post: "We were only halfway through the film yesterday when we heard this horrendous noise. It was so loud that I thought it was part of the film at first, but when I went out to see what it was, I saw other screens all being evacuated.

"You could hear the water pouring behind the screen and could see it seeping through. Then the sound went funny because the water must have affected the electrics.

"The ceiling had started sagging down from all the water, and it was dripping down. Within a few seconds, the staff member told us it wasn't safe and that we needed to evacuate.

"We saw all the security being pulled from other shops to help out because everyone was being evacuated from them. I just couldn't believe how loud it was."

The flat-roofed venue flooded yesterday afternoon due to heavy rainfall

The Escape Entertainment venue first announced it was closing yesterday, but has since announced it was reopening its doors this morning after a 'late night' of cleaning and moving 2,000 litres of water.

Ian Kearney, Managing Director said: "As you can imagine, it was a very late night clearing up and early start to ensure safe to reopen.

"Given the magnitude of rain that hit the town centre late lunchtime yesterday, it would now seem it was just the sheer volume of water in such a short downpour that overwhelmed the roof drainage system, coupled with street drains backing up under the same pressure, so like a bath it overflowed and travelled into the various units.

"Thankfully the damage was limited and we had a contractor on site who were here in under an hour and we removed in excess of 2000 litres of water from service areas and a small part of the toilets and seating area.

Businesses including Reel Cinemas and Sports Direct were forced to evacuate

"This was after we had evacuated all Guests and isolated the power. Thankfully, final clearing up and mopping this morning enabled us to reopen at 11 am and would like to thank all our guests yesterday for their understanding."

The Post has contacted Chorley Council and Reel Cinemas for a comment.

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