Water mainA 12-inch water main break along Auahi Street left more than a thousand moviegoers high and dry yesterday. The noontime break cut water service to the newly opened Consolidated Ward 16 Theaters, which meant no working water fountains and no flushing toilets.
bursts new theaters
Moviegoers are forced
to head across the street
to use toilets
By Rod Antone
"It was really bad. The toilets were almost full but we had to go, so we just went," said Shannon Watanabe, who went to see the noon showing of the film "Pearl Harbor."
"There was no one blocking the bathrooms or anything," Watanabe said.
"All the toilets were backed up, and it's just annoying to see when you go inside there, and you're like, 'Oh, man,'" said Bill Armstrong, whose 1 1/2-year-old son needed to use the bathroom after the movie "Shrek." "You don't want to see that kind of stuff when you got your family in there."
Board of Water supply officials said the 12-inch main burst at around noon, eventually causing the asphalt road above to sink. A triangular hole was created, forcing police to close off a portion of the Ewa-bound lane of Auahi Street fronting the Ward Farmers Market.
While Armstrong said his son Kyle "just went" in his diaper, Consolidated directed other customers to use restrooms at the Ward Warehouse and Ward Centre, located across Auahi Street.
The theater also provided bottled water as well as refunds to those customers who wanted them.
"We've had great business over the last few days," said Glenn Yim, Consolidated regional manager. "It's unfortunate that this has happened."
Yim also said that the theater canceled about eight of its matinee shows while determining how long water service would be affected. Six of those shows were the film "Pearl Harbor," which Yim said had been previously sold out.
Ticket sales resumed at around 3:20 p.m. when maintenance workers for Victoria Ward Centers found a way to restore water service. Victoria Ward President Mitch D'Olier said while the company did not "predict" having water main problems, a contingency plan was in place.
"We put a bypass system in place for water problems in this whole block of our property," said D'Olier. "A lot of Victoria Ward employees left their families on this Memorial Day to come down and get Consolidated back open."
Board of Water Supply officials said that because of the holiday, no crews were working on the water main at the time of the break yesterday. BWS workers on the scene said the break appeared to have been caused by corrosion.
Repair crews finished fixing the water main last night. However, they said they would not be able to complete road repairs until today.