Regal Manassas Prepares for ‘Dark Knight’ Premiere in response to Colorado Shooting

| July 20, 2012 | 0 Comments | Breaking News, News

In response to the shooting at the overnight premiere of the movie "The Dark Knight Rises", Manassas Regal Stadium 14 and IMAX prepares for opening day crowds with increased security and a strict no-mask policy.

Twelve were killed and approximately 50 were injured in Aurora, Colorado, when a 24-year-old man opened fire at a Century 16 movie theater at 12:36 a.m. on July 20, during the premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises.”

According to the Aurora Police Department in Colorado, the suspect, who turned himself over to police, used a handgun, rifle and third gun inside the building, as well as a gas mask and some kind of explosive or gas device.

This morning theaters across the country are taking precautions against copycat crimes, and trying to ease concerns of their patrons, including local theaters in Northern Virginia.

“We do have all employees looking for suspicious activity,” said Adam Pullman, Associate Manager of Regal Manassas Stadium 14 & IMAX Theater in Manassas.

“One manager is watching the main entrance at all times now. If anyone looks suspicious we can act upon it. We are requiring an extra security guard on the night shift. We’ve double checked all our locks to make sure that nothing goes wrong,” Pullman said.

Prince William County Police spokesman, Jonathan Perok, said that the police department has not been contacted by any local theaters for assistance in light of the Colorado shooting.

“We have no reason to think this is anything but an isolated incident. If asked by local theaters we will do our best to accommodate any security needs. Our patrol squads were aware of the possibility of increased crowds for this premiere prior to this incident. We had no incidents from overnight locally.”

Furthermore, Regal already has several policies in place aimed at protecting its patrons. For instance they do not allow their customers to bring guns or weapons onto their premises.

“All the employees know that if they see a customer with a handgun, we ask them politely to put it in their cars.”

Pullman said they have had people try to bring in their handguns on several occasions in the past, but employees had intervened.

“Most people are completely understanding. If they don’t comply, we call the authorities,” Pullman said.

Regal Cinemas also prohibits masks, even when they are part of a character costume.

“Actually it’s always the rule. If it covers any part of the face (we ask the person) to immediately remove it.”

Last night, Pullman said, he had several patrons come in their Batman costumes, but all had to remove their masks.

Pullman does not expect the incident in Colorado to inhibit business this weekend, but he does expect that people might be wary and he hopes to put them at ease. He has also fielded several phone calls Friday morning, asking if they would be open. He said they will be open and showing “The Dark Knight Rises” in seven of their 14 theaters.

However, other jurisdictions are taking more extensive precautions against any possibility of similar crimes. According to CNN, Montgomery County, MD is requiring a police presence at all movie theaters tonight. Mayor Bloomberg of New York City is requiring similar measures.

Local audiences do not seem deterred. As of 11 a.m. Friday, the parking lot was fairly crowded at the Manassas Regal Stadium.

 

 

© 2012, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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