A bomb threat forced police to evacuate the lobby of the Directors Guild and seal off Sunset Boulevard Tuesday night, while inside a turn-away crowd of more than 500 was watching Castle Rock’s premiere of Christopher Guest’s “Waiting for Guffman.”

Although police eventually sprayed the suspicious box with a water hose and found it to contain a harmless toy, the false alarm nonetheless obliged them to evacuate the theater row by row immediately after the conclusion of the film. The post-film party was canceled.

A police spokesman said the LAPD received an anonymous call shortly after the film was to start at 7:30, alerting them to the presence of a cardboard container resting on top of a mailbox in front of the Directors Guild of America headquarters. The caller claimed that it was ticking.

Among the attendees in the theater were said to be Patricia Arquette, Matthew Perry, Martin Short, Billy Crystal, Carl and Rob Reiner, director-co-writer-star Guest and his wife, Jamie Lee Curtis. James Caan and James Woods had their limos turned away by the police cordon. During the laborious evacuation, Short was heard to ask Crystal, “Hey Billy, if it goes off, who gets the first headline?”

DGA spokesman Chuck Warn recalled a bomb threat at the DGA two years ago, but said this was the first time an evacuation had been necessary.

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