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PROVO — A Provo man said Cinemark Theaters accused his elderly mother of bootlegging a movie and made her leave the theater.
Enos Ledezma said his mother and father go to the movies several times a week. It’s a safe place where they can practice English and enjoy themselves.
He said on Saturday his father had to leave, so he handed his wife her cellphone and she put it in her pocket. A few minutes later a Cinemark employee and two police officers asked her to leave. They told him she had been seen recording the movie.
Ledezma said his mother barely knows how to use her cellphone, which he called a "brick, slider-type phone."
He said his mother was scared because she didn’t know what was going on. Employees allegedly belittled her and wouldn't listen to her. He said she kept trying to show them her phone, but they humiliated her and made her feel ashamed.
She has trouble with balance, she is healing from a broken arm, her blood pressure was up — if she had fainted, if she would have fallen, this is something that would have been really bad for a senior citizen.
After the false allegations were cleared, theater management still kicked her out. She was not allowed back in the theater and was almost sent outside in the rain.
Ledezma believes another patron may have seen the individual closed captioning service that the theater provides next to his mother and assumed that was a recording device. He said either way, his mother was treated inappropriately.
A manager at the Provo Towne Center Theater said he was aware of an incident on Saturday, but referred KSL inquiries to Cinemark corporate offices.
Ledezma said he wants an apology for his mother and an explanation from Cinemark. He said he reached out to Cinemark corporate offices, but they have not responded. Additionally, Cinemark has not responded to contact efforts made by KSL.
“She has trouble with balance, she is healing from a broken arm, her blood pressure was up — if she had fainted, if she would have fallen, this is something that would have been really bad for a senior citizen," Ledezma said. "Especially my mom.”
Ledezma said he was told that his mother was treated according to corporate policy. But belittling a senior citizen and frequent movie patron is unacceptable, he said.
“At the moment, I have no intention of going back to that Cinemark. I’d rather drive 45 minutes to the Megaplex," Ledezma said.