Eccles swept for bomb | ParkRecord.com

Eccles swept for bomb

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

The authorities swept the Eccles Center Thursday with a bomb-sniffing dog after a threat was reportedly made against the filmmakers of "Chapter 27," a Sundance Film Festival movie about John Lennon’s killer.

Mary Ford, a Park City Police Department detective, said the moviemakers were concerned about Internet chatter about the film. Ford said the filmmakers discovered an Internet site that indicated the movie would "be a bomb" and the word ‘bomb’ stood out from the rest of the sentence.

Ford said the filmmakers contacted the FBI. Agents then called the police. The authorities, the filmmakers and Sundance officials agreed to check the Eccles Center. The dog was summoned from Salt Lake International and arrived at about 7 p.m., Ford said.

Ford said the dog swept hallways near the Eccles, the area behind the theater and a smaller theater located close by the Eccles. The dog searched each row of the Eccles immediately after the crowd left the movie that showed before "Chapter 27," Ford said.

No explosives were found and the film, which started at about 9:30 p.m., screened without incident.

Patrick Hubley, a Sundance spokesman, said there was not a direct threat to the festival or the Thursday screening. He said the organizers complied with the authorities’ request to sweep the Eccles.

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"This is an uncommon event," Hubley said.