Movie theater security is not an issue most of us had considered very seriously until the tragic events of late Thursday night at an Aurora, Colorado screening of the film The Dark Knight Rises.
Until suspected shooter James Holmes entered a packed theater and reportedly began shooting with abandon, movie theater security was one of the things that by and large, most Americans took for granted. Even in the frightening days after September 11th, when any mass gathering of people became somewhat unnerving for those present, the topic of movie theater security didn’t get much more than a passing mention.
But it appears that the security of moviegoers in the wake of the frightening incident is now a consideration. And on one hand, it may seem a very prudent concern — there are few instances where consumers are as vulnerable and present in such large numbers as a movie on a day-to-day basis.
(In response to the killings, some theaters have banned costumes and other distractions at movie screenings.)
On the other, movie theater security nearly seems to be an issue of diminishing returns — if movie theaters were to become like airports and stadiums, attendance would almost certainly drop to even lower levels as moviegoers decide that a film isn’t worth the trouble. Coupled with that, few incidents at movie theaters like the shocking carnage at the showing of The Dark Knight Rises have occurred in the US, and the rarity of such an incident seems to indicate that hyperbole about terrorism in general may be overstated.
Still, moviegoers are shaken by the scary events, and the Los Angeles Times quoted 34-year-old Katie Gerber as she attended a screening of the movie. Gerber admitted she was a bit spooked:
“It’s horrifying what happened in Colorado and it makes me scared about copycats here… I’m not nervous to go see the movie now, but it’ll be hard not to think about it during the gun-fighting scenes.”
Do you think movie theater security should be stepped up after the massacre during The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora?
— James West (@jameswest2010) July 20, 2012
“Movie theater owners are ‘reviewing security procedures'”. Exactly. Why get rid of guns when you can turn every place into an airport.
— Tilo Jung (@TiloJung) July 20, 2012
Soon we will have to go through metal detector at movie theaters. Don’t believe me? We do it when we fly.#OpenYourEyes
— Jeremy Slayer©® (@SosukeAizen) July 21, 2012
Everybody bout 2 have 2 get patted down go through metal detector before being allowed to enter the movie theaters #CrazyWorld
— iROC ✌ (@Cor_Jeanae) July 21, 2012
So now what, do we need a metal detector in every public place (movie theaters, restaurants, etc) to make sure no one gets in with a weapon?
— Gris P-J(@BuddyGris) July 20, 2012
Movie theaters are gonna be just like the airport now. Take all your stuff off go through a metal detector have security pat you down..
— LeJon Pettis (@lejonpettis) July 20, 2012
just saw Dark Knight in Dedham, cop in theater and security checking the emergency exit every 20 min throughout movie. more than I expected
— Esoteric (@MCEsoteric) July 21, 2012
Dear Movie Theaters, the guy came in through the back door with 4 weapons. THAT is the security issue. Not costumes.
— Geek Girl Diva (@geekgirldiva) July 21, 2012