Northrock 14 was open for business Friday, despite a fire early in the morning that cut short all of the theater's late-night showings.
The fire was reported at 12:55 a.m. Friday at the theater near Rock Road and K-96, Fire Capt. Stuart Bevis said. Fire crews arriving on the scene saw smoke pouring from the theater's roof.
"When I pulled the (fire) alarm, the customers thought it was a joke," general manager Jim Dake said. "We had to send staff in to say, 'Guys, we need to go — this is the real thing.' "
All 14 screens were showing films at the time of the fire, Dake said. Most of the 240 people in the theater were watching a midnight showing of ''Captain America," he said.
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A short in the wiring to the neon sign caused the roof to catch fire, Bevis said. Damage was set at $40,000 — $30,000 to the structure and $10,000 to contents.
There were still numerous people in the parking lot when he arrived at the theater to check on the fire, Bevis said.
"I had to tell them, 'You're not going back in,' " Bevis said.
They weren't happy to hear that, he said.