Bomb Threat Reported at Illinois Carmike Cinema

A police staging area was set up near the Morris, Ill., theater

Police across the country responded Friday to a bomb threat aimed at a chain of national cinemas with locations in Illinois.

The threat was aimed at all the Carmike Cinemas showing "The Expendables 2," Carmike spokesman Terrell Mayton told NBC News.

The threat was left in a phone message at the Carmike Cinema's corporate office Friday morning by a person identifying himself as a theater vendor, Mayton said.

"We're getting lots of calls and emails of 'all-clear,'" he said.

Among theaters checked in Kentucky, North Carolina and Georgia was the location in Morris, Ill., a town about an hour southwest of Chicago. Police were dispatched around 9:30 a.m. to the theater, and a bomb sniffing dog was seen investigating a car outside the theater.

In a brief statement from Morris Assistant Police Chief Harvey Van Cleave, the threat may have affected up to nine theaters in Central Illinois.

"We have received a bomb threat that specifically stated that a Carmike Theater had a bomb in it," Van Cleave said in a statement to the Morris Daily Herald. "There could be nine theaters in Central Illinois that we're talking about. But we're worried about Morris, Illinois."

In Tennessee, Police Chief David Thompson told NBC News the department received a call around 10 a.m. from the local Carmike Cinemas location in town.

Thompson said Carmike Cinemas received a "generic bomb threat" at its corporate headquarters that did not specify a city or state. His understanding is Carmike Cinemas reached out to district managers who reached out to local stores.

Springfield, Tenn., police agreed to conduct an inspection along with the manager as a "precautionary measure" and police "found nothing out of order."

A spokeswoman from Carmike Theaters released a statement late Friday afternoon.

"On the evening of August 16th, Carmike Cinemas received a non-specific telephoned bomb threat at our corporate offices in Columbus, Georgia after hours.  We alerted community law enforcement officials and the FBI. Searches have been completed at the affected theatres by members of law enforcement and nothing was found.

A federal investigation is underway and Carmike is assisting with this as well as in the many communities where we have theatres.  If additional details on the investigation are uncovered, we expect those to come from federal and local law enforcement agencies.

All theatres affected by the threat have been checked and deemed safe for use. Carmike Cinemas would like to express our thanks to the law enforcement agencies that quickly responded and ensured the safety of our guests."

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