Chicago fans see 'Dark Knight Rises', react to Colo. shooting
July 20, 2012 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- After a shooting at a midnight showing of the new Batman movie in Colorado that left 12 people dead and dozens wounded, the AMC movie chain announced a ban on moviegoers in costume and offered refunds to those customers who already bought tickets.
At the AMC movie theater on 322 E. Illinois in Chicago, ABC7 did not see an increase in police and or heightened security, but judging by the number of sold-out screenings, many movie goers seemed fine with that.
The Dark Knight Rises is still a hot ticket, but Ibrahim Balde just isn't in the mood.
"I was blown away," he said. "I couldn't believe something like this would happen. It's the Dark Knight. Everybody wants to come and see it."
Balde bought tickets for his sister and some friends and was planning to join them Friday until he learned of the massacre in Colorado.
"It kind of freaked me out, like should I go watch it myself? Is it something to do with the movie? Is there a message in the movie, or is the guy just going crazy?" he said.
Chicago police said in a statement Thursday, "We are in contact with our law enforcement partners investigating this incident. We will remain vigilant in our enforcement efforts and give special attention to movie theaters throughout the city."
Cook County Homeland Security and Emergency Management director Michael Masters said he's unaware of any credible threats.
"One of the things that we encourage people all the time to do is if you see something, say something," said Masters.
Making that more challenging is perhaps the franchise itself and its legion of fans who enjoy dressing as their favorite characters. So on Thursday AMC announced it is banning moviegoers in costumes.
Some agree with the move.
"They should be checking for people with costumes, making sure they don't bring anything in bad," said Jessica Mendoza.
"You can protect anybody you want when you put the resources into it," said Tom Kasza, Hillard Heintze Security. "But our country is geared towards doing that for specific events, for people, or situations that it's called for."
Many filmgoers say heightened security might keep them away.
"I definitely don't want anything to become like the TSA. I mean, most of us rush into the movie theater anyway," said Byron Bishop.
"It's just going to kill the mood, and I think people should be able to enjoy things without having to go through high levels of security," said Angela Carlson.
A number of suburban communities including Bloomingdale and Deer Park said even before the shooting they were planning to have increased police at theaters Friday night for crowd control. But in the wake of the shooting those officers will certainly be on the lookout for anyone appearing suspicious.
local, eric horng
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