Hoyts' mouse hunt
Patrons horrified as a rodents crawl on to their tables and eat their food during a La Premiere screening at Hoyts Carousel.PT0M0S 620 349
Hoyts Carousel has been ordered to clean up the rodent infestation that was discovered by moviegoers on Tuesday.
The cinema came under fire from patrons, who said they would not return, after an image and video of rats eating customer's food inside one of its La Premiere theatres were uploaded onto its Facebook page.
While rodent baits were in place at the cinema, City of Canning health inspectors found that more comprehensive measures were required.
A woman posted this photo on Facebook, which she said showed vermin eating her grand-daughter's chips inside the Carousel cinema. Photo: Facebook
"The City will be requiring all theatres in the cinema to be cleaned effectively and the preparation and implementation of a comprehensive pest control program, certified by an independent pest control operator," a City of Canning spokesperson said.
"Whilst Hoyts Management have used rodent baits consistently, it is important that a more comprehensive approach is taken, which includes addressing the storage of old equipment which can be used to harbour rodents, and blocking small holes in walls around service pipes that provide an avenue to the rodents entering the building from the outside."
The attention sparked by the Facebook posts brought forward similar complaints from previous customers and one former Hoyts employee, who claimed the infestation had existed for more than ten years.
The employee, who did not want to be named, said the mice had regularly chewed through bags of popcorn.
A spoof Twitter account, Hoyts Mouse, has gathered more than 300 followers since it began tweeting jokes on Tuesday.
If I was hoarding more than 100,000 pieces of popcorn a year I would be happy to give up 15k if it went into rodent infrastructure #super— Hoyts_Mouse (@Hoyts_Mouse) April 4, 2013
The City issued an Improvement Notice to "ensure that the cleanliness of their food preparation areas is maintained to the necessary food safety standards".
Canning warned that if Hoyts fail to meet the requirements then "further action may result".
Hoyts had not responded by time of publishing.