Commotion prevailed at the Devi Cineplex on Anna Salai after smoke was noticed in the theatre complex at 9.15 p.m. on Saturday.
According to police, a short circuit in the 11-KV electricity room of the complex led to a fire. The incident happened when four evening shows, watched by hundreds of people, were on at the complex. No one was injured.
Heated arguments were witnessed between movie-goers who rushed out of the cinema hall and the theatre staff over the fire safety arrangements. J. Manoj said, “I was watching film at the Devi Paradise. There were a few power cuts right from the beginning of the show. I ran out of the theatre from the third floor when I noticed the smoke.” Many of those who came out complained that there were no emergency lights and several of them lost their belongings, including mobile phones. Some of the moviegoers also demanded refund of the tickets.
Staff of the theatre, said there was no power supply since morning and the shows were screened with the help of generators. The short circuit happened when the TNEB staff members were working at the E.B. room, they claimed. According to Fire and Rescue Services personnel, one fire tender was sent to the theatre complex to douse the fire.