The Regal Cinema Theaters were completely evacuated on Sunday afternoon, April 28, 2019 due to a bomb threat made by a man at the end of a showing of The Avengers. Bellingham Police arrested and booked Ryan Nolan MacFarlane, 27, for threats to bomb property.
One of the afternoon showings of The Avengers was ending today at the Regal Cinemas in Bellingham, when MacFarlane stood up carrying a backpack and began to shout at the whole crowd in the theater. He made mention of “this bomb will be the end” during his rant, which prompted theater goers to immediately run from the theater. His statements and actions struck fear and panic with the crowd.
One citizen, who was armed, followed MacFarlane outside toward The Woods Coffee in the same complex. The citizen identified himself, indicated he was armed and told MacFarlane to kneel and await police arrival. MacFarlane complied and was taken into custody by arriving BPD officers without further incident. The backpack with MacFarlane was carrying was isolated in the parking lot awaiting the arrival of Bellingham Police Hazardous Devices Unit (HDU.)
The entire cinema was evacuated and searched by K-9 Marley, BPD’s explosive detection dog. She did not locate any explosives inside the theater. Members of the HDU rendered the backpack safe, examined the contents and did not locate any explosives inside.
There are no reported injuries from the bomb threat inside or from the subsequent evacuation of the theater complex. MacFarlane will appear in court on Monday.
“This was a very stressful and chaotic scene, and I could not be more proud of our officers and community on how they came together in dealing with such a potentially dangerous situation," said Bellingham Police Chief David Doll. “With the help of a community member, our officers quickly and assuredly made an arrest while Regal Cinema employees assisted in evacuating the entire theater in an effort to keep the public safe from a potential explosive device. Our officers' professionalism, teamwork and training ensured a swift and safe end to this frightening event in our community."