MOVIE buffs catching the latest installment of The Hunger Games - called Catching Fire - were evacuated from the cinema when it almost... caught fire.
Hundreds of film lovers were left out in the cold last night after smoke started emitting from a mechanical fan.
Close to 300 people at Vue cinema in the Barbican Leisure Park rushed outside after the extractor fan's burning wires set the fire alarm ringing.
Many had to be turned away from their film showings as the cinema was forced to close its doors for the evening while the fault was investigated.
Rob Baker, crew manager at Greenbank fire station, said smoke was coming from the complex’s plant room which filters the air in the multiplex building.
He said: “We were called around 7.30pm to the smell of burning.
“We knew it was wires burning immediately. You could smell the plastic.
"It was coming from the plant room and the inline fan which extracts air.
"It had burnt out, possibly due to over heating or a fault, and had burnt through its internal wiring.
“There was quite a lot of smoke and so everyone had to be evacuated.
"Some of the smoke had begun creeping out into the main corridor.”
Customers had to be turfed out of a number of screens, including those watching box office smash The Hunger Games.
Those with tickets to later showings were offered refunds, said Crew Manager Baker.
He added: “There were probably about two or three hundred people in there.
"The car park was pretty full when we arrived.
“The cinema is closed for the evening and an electrical engineer is going down to try and fix it for tomorrow.”
Both crews from Greenbank station attended the scene, along with an engine and aerial ladder from Crownhill fire station.
They were on site for more than an hour and a half.