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Toxins close N.Y. plex

Chemical explosions, fire evacuate Lincoln Square

NEW YORK — Gotham’s Sony Lincoln Square multiplex, one of the highest-grossing theaters in the U.S., was evacuated twice over the weekend — once for chemical explosions and the second time for a fire.

On Saturday night, the New York City Police Dept. cleared 13 auditoriums comprised of more than 4,000 people after two small containers filled with chemicals exploded.

Sony Lincoln Square is the flagship of the 2,700-screen Loews Cineplex chain.

A police spokeswoman said Lincoln Square management called the police at 6:40 p.m. after explosions occurred during the screenings of DreamWorks’ “Saving Private Ryan” and 20th Century Fox’s “There’s Something About Mary.”

A second call was received by 911 operators from an unidentified man who also had knowledge of the explosions, she said.

Two people were hospitalized and another 19 were treated at the scene for respiratory ailments.

The theater remained closed for the rest of the night.Lincoln Square re-opened for business Sunday at 10 a.m., only to be shut down a few hours later. A police spokeswoman said police and firefighters were called at 2:50 p.m. after a small fire broke out in a fourth-floor stock room.

The chemical explosions and the fire did not appear to be related, the spokeswoman said. An investigation is in progress.

Loews Cineplex execs could not be reached for comment Sunday afternoon.

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