Fortunately, no smoke or fire was detected,  but we think it was a "seasonal" issue. (Photo courtesy of KNDU-TV).

Monday evening,  theatergoers were evacuated from the Columbia Center 5 movie theater after they smelled a strange, smoky odor inside the building.

Fire crews and officials searched everywhere and found no evidence of any blaze,  and suspect it was related to the building's HVAC system.

Officials report everyone got out, and theater workers did a good job of evacuating the crowd as a precaution.     A technician will be examining the HVAC system sometime today.

With the sudden onset of much cooler temperatures the last couple of days,  we suspect it could be related to that same smell you get the first time you kick on the heater in the fall.     Many times,  dust and dirt that accumulates in the summer months gets heated by the HVAC system, and while it doesn't necessarily pose a risk, it definitely lets your nose know that fall is here - and winter on the way.


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