TAMPA, Florida— Studio Movie Grill is one in a growing number of local theaters with much more than just popcorn and hotdogs. With a full dinner menu, liquor, and luxury reserved seating the theater is especially popular with students from nearby USF.
“They have a lot of options,” said student Maunesh Patel. “We like to have the deserts and stuff.”
But customers say they had no idea this movie theater’s kitchen was recently shut down by the state. A health inspector ordered an emergency closure June 23rd after spotting a live rodent running into the dish room with additional rodent droppings found in the same area.
The inspector also found foods like the sour cream, cooked chicken and coleslaw at dangerous temperatures that could make customers sick.
“It’s not acceptable,” said customer Wynett Gordillo. “It’s something they’re going to have to address.”
The theater’s kitchen was cleared by the state to reopen the very next day so 10Investigates decided to stop in to check on conditions a week later.
“Can you turn the camera off please,” asked the theater’s general manager who wanted no part in having our camera anywhere near the kitchen and said he was unable to talk about the previous violations.
“I’m sorry. You need to direct any questions to our corporate office.”
Texas-based Studio Movie Grill sent us this written statement indicating “management takes health issues extremely seriously and the matter has undergone the deepest scrutiny. Additionally, we have also been working with Mall management to ensure we are aligned on maintaining the highest level of health and safety for our guests.” And while the company says the issues are now cleaned up, some customers say they’d prefer to see for themselves.
“I think they should give customers a tour,” suggested Maunesh Patel.
“I would love to see them fix their problems because it’s a great business to bring people to the area,” said Gordillo.
Studio Movie Grill says they’re committing to help revitalize the University Mall area. 10News WTSP will keep an eye on this location’s future health inspections and alert you to any problems.