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Can You Sue If You Slip and Fall in a Movie Theater?

By Brett Snider, Esq. | Last updated on

Movie theaters are no stranger to dramatic falls, earth-shaking explosions, and even bloody assaults. But we generally expect those dangerous events to take place on the screen and not in the aisle.

But with the floors lined with imitation butter, and lighting less than adequate, it requires no spoiler alert to say that anyone can suffer a slip-and-fall accident at the movies.

So can you sue if you do slip and fall at a movie theater?

Slippery Floors

Just like in a grocery store or any other private business that invites customers onto its property, a movie theater must take reasonable steps to assure the safety of the premises. Often this means mopping up puddles of soda or greasy spots left by popcorn so that patrons do not slip and injure themselves while inside. Obviously some spills occur too quickly for staff to come and clean -- especially during a movie -- but it will be up to a court to decide whether the steps taken (or not taken) were reasonable under the circumstances.

Dangerous Stairs

Many theaters, especially those with stadium-style seating, have long rows of stairs on each side of the theater. These stairs may prove treacherous to climb in the dark if they are not properly illuminated. The following conditions on stairs may lead to a slip-and-fall accident:

  • Poor lighting,
  • Missing handrails,
  • Waxed or polished steps, and
  • Steps which are worn or rounded.

If any one of these conditions exists and leads to an accident, you may be able to sue the movie theater to recover.

Pushy Patrons

Even if you're normally as sure-footed as a mountain goat, a solid push from a rude or hurried patron can send you tumbling as a crowd moves to exit the theater. You can, of course, sue your pushy attacker for battery or negligence, but the theater may also be responsible for not providing adequate supervision via ushers or failing to remove known troublemakers.

If you need help sorting out the options for your movie theater slip-and-fall injury, have an attorney review your case for free.

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