Updated 1:05 a.m. Sunday
A group of unruly fans of a skateboarder film who swarmed the Vine Theater on Hollywood Boulevard late Saturday threw bottles at police officers, stampeded several businesses and caused a massive response by the Los Angeles Police Department.
The movie Bake and Destroy was scheduled to show at 9:30 p.m. at the theater, which is located at 6321 Hollywood Blvd. An online advertisement for the event said that the showing was going to be free on a "first come" basis. According to an LAPD sergeant and several witnesses, hundreds of people showed up for the film and the theater could not accomodate them all.
“Apparently there was supposed to be the movie premiere of a movie related to a skater magazine called Thrasher,” LAPD Capt. Beatrice Girmala of the Hollywood Division told Patch. “It was either oversold or through social media people were attracted to this theater. When they couldn’t get in due to limited seating, they decided to create vandalism and became basically a riotous mob here on Hollywood Boulevard.”
One person was arrested, several businesses suffered damage and one business owner reported being robbed during the riot, according to Girmala. No injuries to officers or civilians were reported.
Hollywood Boulevard was shut down between Ivar Avenue and Vine Street by the LAPD, which issued a tactical alert, and dozens of officers responded from divisions all around the city, as did an LAPD helicopter.
“There were many projectiles thrown at officers. Thank goodness no officer injuries were reported, no use of force out here,” Girmala said. “We did have to get assets out here from the whole city, as our primary concern was property damage, in addition to the violent crime that could have occurred.”
Glass littered Hollywood Boulevard the entire block around the theater, and the street remained closed after 12:30 p.m. while city cleaning crews were being assembled to remove the glass and debris.
Eric Avetisyn, the owner of Cones Rotisserie Wraps, which is next door to the Vine Theater, reported that rioters stormed his business and robbed the cash register.
“There was at least 1,000 skateboarders out here. They started street fighting with the cops. They destroyed everything,” said Avetisyn. “They stole the money from the shop. When the police started arriving, the people came inside. They were drunk or high, I don’t know. I’ve been here 15 years, I’ve never seen anything like it.”
June Kim, owner of Sandy Burger, which is located next door to the Vine Theater on the other side, said she had to push some rioters out the door and pull down the security gate to keep them out.
“There were so many people, more than 1,000 people. I shut the door closed, I was scared of them,” Kim said. “They were all drinking a lot of alcohol, all drinking.”
Kim said that after she shut the gate people started smashing up the outside of the shop with their skateboards. She pointed to a large gash in the shop's sign and said it was caused by a board. The Vine Theater also suffered damage and had its front window smashed.
Patch will update this story as more information is available