In the wake of an overnight shooting at a Colorado showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" in which 12 were killed and nearly 60 more were injured, theater chains are reacting with caution and condolences.
[NJ.com reports that one of those injured was a woman from Sussex County, NJ.]
AMC Theatres is prohibiting patrons from wearing face masks or bringing prop guns to theaters. Moviegoers who turn up at the AMC Loews Mountainside and AMC Aviation 12 in Linden will be turned away if they appear with such items.
Previous media reports regarding this action said that the company had completely banned costumes from their theaters. AMC Theaters has recently released a statement clarifying what items they will no longer permit to be worn to their theaters.
"We will not admit guests with face-concealing masks and we will not allow fake weapons in the buildings," said an official announcement on the AMC Theaters Facebook page. "We want all our guests to feel comfortable at our theatres and we will be closely monitoring.
One of the villains in the latest Batman movie wears a partially-concealing face mask, as do many of the heroes in the film.
Digiplex Destinations, which has theaters in Cranford and Westfield (only the Westfield location is showing "Dark Knight"), has announced no such policy. Spokesman Jeff Blumenfeld only offered this statement to Patch: "Our hearts go out to the victims and their families affected by this senseless act of domestic terrorism."
Meanwhile Mountainside Police Captain Richard Oseija told Patch, “We normally have security assigned to the movie theater every weekend. However, due to the recent incident, we are going to increase the security around the theater, but we don’t anticipate any issues or problems.”
AMC Loews Mountainside Theatre employees were unable to comment on security measures at the theater this weekend.
Congressman Leonard Lance (R-7th District) issued the following statement regarding the tragic events that took place last night in Aurora, Colorado:
“My thoughts and prayers go out to all of the innocent victims of the horrific tragedy that occurred during the night in Aurora, Colorado. My wife, Heidi and I join all Americans in praying for the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured and the entire community of Aurora, Colorado as they seek to recover from this deeply disturbing tragedy.”
Across the river in New York City, the NYPD will be increasing security at New York City movie theaters.
On Friday morning, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly stated: "As a precaution against copycats and to raise the comfort levels among movie patrons in the wake of the horrendous shooting in Colorado, the New York City Police Department is providing coverage at theaters where the 'The Dark Knight Rises' is playing in the five boroughs."
According to Huffington Post, a gunman threw tear gas into a midnight showing of the new film "The Dark Knight Rises" in Aurora, Colorado, before opening fire on the crowd.
— Liz Alterman and Robert Myers contributed to this story.