The premiering of one of the biggest films in the history of cinema may have been too much for the Silverbird Cinemas at the Accra Mall to handle.
As cinema-goers worldwide marvelled at ‘Avengers: Endgame’ which hit theatres last weekend, pushing it to a $1.2 billion worldwide opening, some Ghanaian film fans were left fuming about Silverbird Cinemas’ crowd management last Friday.
Videos, shot from outside the theatre, showed scores of eager patrons trying to push their way into the theatre for the screening.
Some even described it as a near stampede that led to serious injury to at least two persons, according to eyewitnesses. The chaos has sparked concern over how seriously the cinema takes crowd control and customer safety.
No fresh girl here ooo pic.twitter.com/tyjh0JLHpS
— Ûñkńœwñ Qωąɱɛ (@iAmKingQwame) April 27, 2019
The more I read this Silverbird horror stories, the more I’m tempted to wait just one more day and watch it tomorrow morning. I trust Ghanaians and their religious zealousness. The place should be empty-ish
— Immortal Sugimoto (@kaytheboy) April 27, 2019
— Dede by @krymimusic (@ghcounty) April 27, 2019
Yestee dem break the glass door for Silverbird ein entrance make e cot some guy ein face. It was bloody ankasa
— Stixx F (@Stiiixx) April 27, 2019
Bro. The heat wave is serious, when I was there yesterday 2 people collapsed, and it’s also a glaring stampede waiting to happen. They know this, and yet this persists. It’s no one-off. It’s so evident they don’t care about their customers as much as they do about making money.
— Avenge The Freakin Fallen You Bastards! 🎧 (@frayedjacket) April 26, 2019
You couldn’t pay me to watch a movie at Silverbird. Cinemas are hard enough for me to deal with without having to add their lack of crowd control. Building capacities exist for a reason. Their disregard for that is a tragedy waiting to happen.
— Makafui Ahorney (@Makahorney) April 26, 2019
This prompted disaffected customers to also complain about the purported overselling of tickets for event films like ‘Avengers: Endgame’, though, in this instance, eyewitnesses say persons without tickets managed to force their way into the cinema.
Patrons for the screening this past weekend reported even having to sit on the floor to watch the film. In the past, ushers and management have had to compensate for the extra numbers by bringing in plastic chairs.
So @SilverbirdGhana did what they always do, oversell tickets knowing very well they do not have the space for it. but greed so fuck us. Yesterday was disgusting. We were packed like sardines with no breathing space.
— yäs (@___daenerys__) April 26, 2019
Sat on the stairs on time at Silverbird. The place pack ankasa
— KevMaster (@KevMaster_) April 27, 2019
@SilverbirdGhana needs to be held accountable for endangering the lives of their customers. They seemed to have exceeded the occupancy capacity of their screening rooms. Folks collapsed and stuff. https://t.co/jqatTWz20y
— nii (@niikotei) April 26, 2019
The general sentiment is that Silverbird is in a comfort zone because of the virtual monopoly it enjoys by virtue of its prime location at the Accra Mall and some people long for the day proper competition will arrive and keep it on its toes.
The cinema hasn’t responded to a request for comment on the matter. But it has officially apologised for its handling of the event admitting it underestimated the enthusiasm of the crowd.
AVENGERS END GAME
We sincerely apologise for the incident that occured during insomnia event on our premises, at the Accra Mall.
Our deepest condolence to our cherished customers who got injured in the process of going into our halls to view, #AvengersEndgame.
— Silverbird Ghana (@SilverbirdGhana) April 28, 2019
“The prescreening on Thursday was executed with little to no issues. On Friday however, we got overwhelmed by the crowd and the measures we put in place to control them proved futile, because of the magnitude of people that trooped in to see the movie.”
“The sad incident that happened on the staircase was a result of us underestimating what this movie means to the die-hard Marvel fans of our beloved country,” the company said in a series of tweets.
Photos: Naa Shika Caesar