Theater, Not Studio, Behind ‘New Moon’ Charges

The woman caught with ‘New Moon’ snippets on her camera faces felony, with the movie theater as complaintant

Last Updated: December 8, 2009 @ 10:04 AM

The young woman busted for filming a few minutes of "New Moon" with her digital camera still faces felony piracy charges, but it’s not rights owner Summit Entertainment behind them — it’s the movie theater where she was arrested.

Samantha Tumpach, 22, was hauled out of the Muvico Rosemont 18 in the Chicago suburb of Rosemont, Ill., on Nov. 28 when theater employees saw her wielding her digital camera during a screening of the "Twilight" sequel. She had a total of three minutes’ worth of the movie on the camera, interspersed with personal footage taken during a party for her older sister’s birthday, which they were celebrating at the cineplex.

Summit Entertainment had no official comment Monday on the arrest, but a person inside the studio told TheWrap that it had no intention of pressing charges.

However, the theater is listed as the complaining party on court documents filed last week in Cook County. A telephone message left with the Fort Lauderdale, Fl.-based Muvico theater chain was not immediately returned Monday.

Tumpach is listed as having an unidentified public defender, and is due in a Rolling Meadows, Ill., court on Dec. 17. The Cook County state’s attorney’s office said she was no longer in custody, and could not confirm reports that she had spent two nights in jail following her arrest.

She has not yet been arraigned on charges of criminal use of a motion-picture facility, a Class 4 felony that carries a sentence of up to 3 years in prison.