A man with Crohn’s disease was left humiliated and embarrassed at Hull’s newly refurbished Odeon Luxe cinema after he was forced to use the women’s toilets.
With all of the men’s cubicles and the disabled toilet out of use, Callum Faber, from Willerby, was forced to take drastic measures on Sunday night.
The 24-year-old had gone to see Bohemian Rhapsody at the Odeon cinema with his partner but he has now insisted he will never return to the cinema in Kingston Retail Park after his traumatic experience.
Explaining what happened, Mr Faber said: “I had gone sit down to watch the film when I had to go to the toilet because I can’t control what happens with my stomach.
Watch above: Callum talks about having to use the women’s toilets
“When I got there, there was no literally no disabled toilet and every single men’s cubicle was out of use. There were no signs and nobody telling me what to do or where to go so I had to go into the ladies.”
After the film had finished, Mr Faber needed the toilet again but was shocked to find that there were still no cubicles available for him to use.
He confronted the manager of Odeon Luxe, who he says told Mr Faber they could not fix the toilets because it was “too expensive to hire a plumber on a Sunday”.
She is also said to have told him that he should have asked a member of staff and was correct to have used the women’s toilet.
“I think it’s ridiculous,” Mr Faber said. “I don’t think a lady would have been comfortable with seeing a man in the toilet and vice versa.
“There were no signs or anything and when I need to go to the toilet I can’t be looking. I need to go there and then but they just seemed so blasé to the whole situation.
“For the manager to say I could have asked a member of staff – at the end of the day, I shouldn’t have to. It’s nothing to do with them and I should get to go to the toilet when I want to.”
Mr Faber has been experiencing bowel problems for the past four years but was only told he had Crohn’s disease last year after a string of misdiagnoses.
He has a radar key which gives him access to locked public toilets around the country and he admits sometimes it is impossible for him to control his need to go to the toilet.
“It makes it even worse when you can’t find a toilet,” Mr Faber said. “You stress and you start panicking and you get anxious. You start sweating because you need to find somewhere to go and it gets me upset because I can’t hold it.
“It is so embarrassing and sometimes you have to just find the nearest place you can go.”
Mr Faber thinks the Odeon, which reopened with a new iSense screen last week, should create unisex toilets to avoid this problem in the future.
Video explainer: What is Crohn’s disease?
However, he insists that his experience has discouraged him from ever returning to the cinema.
“I won’t be going back to Hull’s Odeon,” Mr Faber said. “I’m absolutely appalled and disgusted that no alternatives were put in place.
“There should have been signs to say that we could use staff toilets or that the toilets were unisex that evening or they could have got just one toilet fixed.
“The fact that plumbers were too expensive on Sunday is not my problem. It’s £8 each for a seat and £12.50 for two drinks and popcorn so it came to £30 and I couldn’t even use the toilets. I just think it was diabolical.”
What Odeon says
Odeon says the men’s toilets have been out of use since Sunday. However, the cinema giant said temporary measures have now been put in place to allow both sexes to use the toilets.
A spokesman said: “We can confirm that the facilities are in the process of getting fixed and will be re-open from tomorrow.
“The team at Odeon Luxe Hull are doing everything they can to help any guests whilst we undertake repairs, and we apologise for any inconvenience caused.
“We were sorry to hear that one of our guests was left feeling upset by his experience, so have invited him back to enjoy a film of his choice as a gesture of goodwill.”
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