Death by movie theater seat is probably not the best way to go. But one poor soul experienced that terrible scenario as his head became stuck while trying to retrieve his phone. And the incident occurred at a theater with high-end luxurious seats meant to enhance the moviegoing experience, not completely destroy it. This freak movie theater death happened in Birmingham, U.K.
A seat at the Vue Cinema theater in Birmingham is responsible for trapping a man who bent down to get his phone, which he'd dropped during the movie. His head reportedly became 'wedged under the electronic footrest of a cinema seat.' The incident caused the man to have a massive panic attack, which resulted in cardiac arrest.
The man didn't die while still stuck under the seat. Those in the theatre were able to get him out, and he was subsequently rushed to the hospital. It was there that he passed away nearly a week later. The Guardian describes the incident in much more detail.
"An investigation into the accident at the Vue cinema in Birmingham's Star City leisure complex on 9 March is continuing. Sources quoted in the Birmingham Mail described how the 'freak' accident happened after the man bent down to retrieve a phone, dropped between Gold Class seats, at the end of a movie. The victim, who was with his partner, was only freed after the footrest was broken by those trying to help."
Apparently, the man bought the best ticket in the house, which quickly turned into the worst seat because of a malfunctioning footrest. The West Midlands Ambulance Service confirmed these reports, and that the victim did suffer cardiac arrest after becoming trapped. The man's heart was restarted on scene, before he was wheeled off to the city's Heartlands Hospital. Vue International issued this statement about the freak accident.
"A full investigation into the nature of the incident is ongoing. Our thoughts and condolences are with the family who have our full support and assistance."
While the theater seats aren't being called a safety hazard just yet, Birmingham City Council has begun a health and safety investigation into why and how this all happened. And it's possible that the chairs could be recalled and replaced with more traditional chairs without footrests in place. These types of seats have started to pop up in theaters across the U.S. in the last year or so. A warning has been issued to be careful with the electronic functions on the seats. So far, no such incident has been reported in the states.