KLTV Swabs Dirty Movie Theaters All Over East Texas - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/14/08-East Texas

KLTV Swabs Dirty Movie Theaters All Over East Texas

We go to the movies to laugh, to scream, to relax and enjoy, but our findings could give you a pretty good scare.

Do you really know what's lurking beneath you? Well, you will now. 

Dr. Richard Wallace, Chairman of the Department of Microbiology at the UT Health Science Center in Tyler tell us, "really astounding. I expected a lot of skin organisms but I really didn't expect them to be..." 

Not so fast.  First, we have to take a lesson in Swabbing 101.  Pretending a chair is a movie theater seat, Lab Supervisor Angie Lanphier shows us how to use the tester.  Meanwhile, she tells us what they'll be looking out for.

"You do not want to find any gram negative rods, that are enterics like Salmonella, Shigella, E.Coli," she explains. 

With our game plan in mind, and swabs in hand we're off to see what we do find.

We test four popular theaters across East Texas including Hollywood Theater- Tyler Rose, Carmike Cinemas in Tyler, Hollywood Stadium 14 in Longview, and Jackson Cinema III in Jacksonville.

In Tyler, at the Hollywood-Tyler Rose we tested a seat at the back and the floor at the front.  At Carmike in Tyler, a seat on the very back row and the armrest and headrest of a seat at the front.  In Longview at the Hollywood, the headrest and seat in the back and in the front, an armrest. And in Jacksonville, a front seat armrest and headrest and a back seat and the back floor.

You name it, we swabbed it. And once we're done, it's off to the lab and a week or so later, our results are show-stopping.

"Really astounding, I expected a lot of skin organisms but I really didn't expect them to be...."

Again, not just yet.  You'll have to wait for those results, but here's a little preview of what's to come.

"Oh, gross!!! That's nasty," Janie Jeffus says reacting to the news of our results.

"I'll just wait for it [the movie] to come out. I can rent it on iTunes," says one teenager from Lindale.

"I'm going to go to Blockbuster a lot more now," say the other teenager.

And Frankston resident Jennifer Farmer says, "Oh my! Wow, that's crazy! I would never think that."

Even our microbiologist says, "This is really bad," as he makes a sour-looking face.

We'll let that keep you sitting on the edge of your seat, literally.

Tracy Watler, Reporting tracy@kltv.com

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