Evidently we weren't the only ones stirred by the mouse spotting thread on Maplewood Online. When Maplewood Township Health Officer Robert Roe got to work on Monday, Jan. 5, he had an inbox full of messages about the alleged movie house mouse.
Roe inspected the theater that morning, scrutinizing all areas, including the food counter where the mouse was reportedly spotted. While he said there was some evidence mice had been in the theater, he emphasized that the theater is safe, reasonably clean and free of a serious rodent infestation.
"There weren't any droppings near the counter," Roe said. "If there were, we would have had the theater closed."
Other parts of the theater had some droppings, Roe said. The amount of droppings was not dramatic, and indicated that the presence of one or two mice rather than a full-blown infestation. He said the mice visits were not indicative of negligence on the part of the theater owners. (Roe described the theater owners, who did not respond to a request for comment, as "mortified" by the incident.)
"It's a building that's probably 80 years old and there are shops attached to it," Roe said. "So, I can't say you're going to ever totally eliminate mice."
He served the theater with a written notice that specified areas of the property that could use some clean-up, and implied that cinephiles should watch the popcorn they drop on the floor.
"People can be slobs when they go to the movies," he said.