Woman with 'bug bites' at 2 Golden Village cinemas: GV says all cinemas inspected monthly

Ms Debra Low lodged a complaint with Golden Village after she found bug bites on her body twice after watching movies at the chain's cinemas.
Ms Debra Low lodged a complaint with Golden Village after she found bug bites on her body twice after watching movies at the chain's cinemas.PHOTO: DEBRA LOW
Ms Debra Low lodged a complaint with Golden Village after she found bug bites on her body twice after watching movies at the chain's cinemas.
Ms Debra Low lodged a complaint with Golden Village after she found bug bites on her body twice after watching movies at the chain's cinemas.PHOTO: DEBRA LOW

SINGAPORE - Golden Village (GV) hires a pest control unit that conducts monthly inspections for all its cinemas, the cinema chain said on Monday (Aug 14) after a woman said she was bitten by bugs at two GV cinemas.

Ms Debra Low, 28, posted a complaint on GV's Facebook page on Friday afternoon, showing a photo of bumps on her skin.

Ms Low told The Straits Times on Saturday (Aug 12) that she first noticed a rash on her skin after going for a movie at the GV cinema in City Square Mall on July 23.

"I thought maybe it's just a one-off incident and didn't think too much of it," she said.

However, she went to watch another movie at a cinema in Junction 8 on Aug 7. Towards the end of the film, she felt an itch on her back.

Ms Low, who works in marketing, said she went home and found raised bumps on her skin. She said she has never had such a skin condition before. 

She said: "I wrote in to GV and they said they will check with pest control, but they gave me a vague answer."

A GV spokesman said the cinema chain blocked the affected seats once it received Ms Low's feedback. She added that there were no bugs detected and GV had informed Ms Low.

 
 

GV said it also responded the same way for another case reported in July, where "there were no bugs detected" as well.

GV said preventive treatment was conducted on the affected areas in both cases, and added that a pest control unit conducts monthly inspections for all its cinemas.

Ms Low said she felt okay in the next few days, and did not visit a doctor. However, she contacted GV via its social media page as she was unhappy about it.

She said GV offered her a pair of complimentary tickets but she turned them down.

"Who would accept complimentary tickets when one has been bitten twice?! That doesn't make sense, does it?" she wrote in response to GV's reply to her on Facebook.

Ms Low said her friends told her that it may not be a bug bite, but a reaction to dust. However, she said she was unhappy at the way her complaint was handled and concerned about the hygiene levels.

"Imagine if there are kids being bitten," she said.

In 2015, patrons of the Rex Cinema at Mackenzie Road complained that the seats were covered with bedbugs. Rex Cinema acknowledged the problem and said it would install new seats.

Mr Saravanam, a manager at Rex Cinemas, on Monday said the cinema spent more than $500,000 changing all the seats in all the cinemas.