By now you’ve likely heard about last night’s horrible shooting at a Colorado movie theater that left at least a dozen people dead and several times that number injured. In response, some theaters have already begun beefing up security for opening-day showings of The Dark Knight Rises.
The AP reports that police in NYC first posted a pair of officers outside a Times Square AMC theater where the hugely anticipated film was showing at times starting every 20 minutes. Later in the day, the two on-foot police officers were relieved by a police cruiser parked in front of the busy venue.
A a Regal theater in Washington, D.C., moviegoers’ bags and purses were subject to search by theater employees.
At a United Artists theater here in Philadelphia, employees tell the AP that there is extra security, but that this is normal for big premiers.
On a personal note, I was one of the many people at this particular theater last night and didn’t happen to notice any extra security at the time.
The National Association of Theater Owners said in a statement that its members are “working closely with local law enforcement agencies and reviewing security procedures.”
The makers of the movie have already canceled this weekend’ big Paris premier, though that is likely more out of respect to those affected by the tragedy than out of security concerns.
What remains to be seen is whether the shooting will have a negative impact on people actually going to the theater this weekend. Many of the tickets for today’s screenings were purchased in advance, but if people choose to stay home, it could hurt theater operators who make little to no money off ticket sales and rely on concession sales for revenue.