Theaters Respond to Colorado Shooting

After a terrible night at an Aurora, CO, movie house, theaters across the country are responding. Twelve people were killed and 59 were wounded during a midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises," the latest Batman movie. The gunman dressed in black and described himself as the Joker to police.

CO Theater

In response, Warner Bros. has cancelled the movie's planned premiere in Paris. The company also said, "Out of respect for the victims and their families, Warner Bros. Pictures will not be reporting box office numbers for 'The Dark Knight Rises' throughout the weekend. Box office numbers will be released on Monday."

AMC Theaters is banning masks and fake weapons in theaters. The company issued this statement:

"AMC Theatres is deeply saddened by the Aurora tragedy. Movie going is part of our social fabric and this senseless act shakes us to our core. We're reinforcing our security procedures with our theatre teams, which we cannot discuss in detail for obvious, safety reasons. Local law enforcement agencies, our landlords and their and our local security teams are stepping up nationwide to ensure we provide the safest environment possible for our guests. We couldn't be more grateful for their collective support. At this time, our show schedules circuit-wide will not change. We will not allow any guests into our theatres in costumes that make other guests feel uncomfortable and we will not permit face-covering masks or fake weapons inside our buildings. If guests wish to exchange or refund any tickets, we will honor our existing policy and do as our guests wish. We are taking necessary precautions to ensure our guests who wish to enjoy a movie this weekend can do so with as much peace of mind as possible in these circumstances."

Regal Cinema also issued a statement about the incident:

"We are profoundly saddened by the tragedy that occurred at a Denver area theatre and are concerned for the victims and their families. The security and safety of our guests and staff is always our number one priority. As is our custom, we will continue to monitor the situation and adjust our security needs as necessary. In the meantime, our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families."

President Obama responded to the tragedy, cancelling a campaign stop in Orlando, FL:

"Michelle and I are shocked and saddened by the horrific and tragic shooting in Colorado. Federal and local law enforcement are still responding, and my Administration will do everything that we can to support the people of Aurora in this extraordinarily difficult time. We are committed to bringing whoever was responsible to justice, ensuring the safety of our people, and caring for those who have been wounded. As we do when confronted by moments of darkness and challenge, we must now come together as one American family. All of us must have the people of Aurora in our thoughts and prayers as they confront the loss of family, friends, and neighbors, and we must stand together with them in the challenging hours and days to come."

Image source.

Discussion Starters:

  • Read several additional statements following the shooting massacre. Which do you find most and least effective?
  • Did President Obama do the right thing in canceling his campaign stop? Why or why not? 
  • What, if anything, should movie theaters change in their security policies? Should all theaters ban costumes?