Posted on Saturday, December 27th, 2008 by Peter Sciretta
It has happened to all of us. You’re watching a movie at your local multiplex when a couple of people near you start talking, texting, or even begin yelling at the screen. We read quite a few movie-going horror stories in our Question of the Week. You know that feeling — The feeling that something must be done. The feeling that the offender must be stopped. You might have even have had a split-second flash of the offending persons being shut up by brute force. But for most people, or at least any reasonable person, it ends there. You might make a loud “shhhhhhh!” sound, a polite way of saying “Shut the fuck up” without having to reveal your face in the dark movie theater. Heck, I usually don’t even do that.
Well, 29-year-old James Joseph Cialella Jr went to see David Fincher’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button at the UA Riverview Stadium 17 movie theater in South Philadelphia on Christmas. Seems like the Riverview isn’t the best theater to see a movie in, read some of the hilarious reviews of the “ghetto theater” on Google or Yelp. A family seated in front of Cialella began to talk during the film, so he told them to be quiet. But that didn’t stop the younger son from making comments. He even threw popcorn angrily at the talkative son, but the talk did not stop. Cialella became so enraged that he pulled out a Kel-Tec .380-caliber handgun and shot the father in the left arm.
Then what? Did Cialella run for it? Nope. He sat back down in his seat and watched the movie as others ran from theater. The police were called and arrived shortly after, less than an hour into the film screening. It is too bad that the shooter didn’t at least get to finish the movie before being hauled off to jail. The police confiscated the weapon and arrested the shooter.
James Joseph Cialella Jr is being charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and weapons violations. The unnamed victim was treated at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, and is said to be okay.