Source: Detroit Free Press
After the recent devastating incident that occurred in Colorado at a midnight showing of ”The Dark Knight Rises” where 12 people were killed and 58 injured at the Century Aurora 16 multiplex, Metro Detroit Area movie theaters are making some changes.
Some metro Detroit movie theaters are responding to the deadly shooting spree by making changes such as a ban on wearing masks and costumes.
There were calls for more security at theaters — and for putting the tragedy in perspective as an isolated attack of a deranged person and for not blaming an artistic creation for a terrible act of violence.
The national AMC Theatres chain, which has seven metro Detroit locations, issued a statement addressing security concerns raised by the attack that killed 12 and wounded 58 in Aurora, Colo.
“For the safety and security of our guests and associations, we are actively working with local law enforcement in communities throughout the nation, and under the circumstances we are reaching out to all of our theaters to review our safety and security procedures,” it read.
This echoed a statement from the National Association of Theater Owners, which said in a statement that its members are “working closely with local law enforcement agencies and reviewing security procedures.”
MJR Digital Cinemas owner Mike Mihalich said Friday that his eight area locations are banning patrons from wearing masks and costumes — a national trend that has become fairly common at big-event movies like the “Harry Potter” finale and the Batman films.
The Oak Park-based MJR chain already has an effective security system and procedures in place, according to Mihalich. While he said the patrols of exit doors, which are regularly checked at least six times a day, will be stepped up for now, he stressed that the Colorado tragedy is an isolated incident.
“In the 45 years I’ve been in this industry, and 35 of those years owning my own theaters, we’ve never had anything close to resembling this,” Mihalich said.
An e-mail went out Friday afternoon to MJR customers saying that midnight shows have been canceled for July 26 and will return Aug. 2. The timing was coincidental and not in reaction to the tragedy, according to the company, which offered no further details.
Cory Jacobson, owner of the Farmington-headquartered Phoenix Theatres, said his two locations (at malls in Monroe and Livonia) are already vigilant about making sure people don’t bring anything into the theater that shouldn’t be there, including working closely with mall security and bringing in extra security at busy times. He said the location of the tragedy could have been anywhere, and he pointed out that schools, post offices and even an Army base have been the sites of shootings.
A statement from Paul Glantz, CEO of Emagine Entertainment, a Troy-based movie theater company with six area locations, said that the safety of patrons is Emagine’s “foremost responsibility,” and outlined the many security precautions in place, including security personnel at venues during peak times, surveillance systems and emergency alarms. It also tried to put such tragedies into historical perspective and address the limits of reasonable security.
“Just as no realistic building code provision could save a building from a direct hit by a 747, no practical security measures are sufficient to preclude a madman intent on committing mass murder,” it said.
Speaking later by phone, Glantz said that Emagine theaters won’t ban masks or costumes, describing how about 20% of the patrons at the Royal Oak Emagine midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” were dressed up to enjoy the big night.
The Young Detroit Show’s Statement:
The Young Detroit Show (Our company) and all of our staff would like to send our deepest thoughts and prayers to all of the families, friends and loved ones who have been affected by this recent Colorado shooting tragedy. We will continue to update our viewers on this breaking developing story. Our legal correspondents over at SmackGavel weigh in on the legal side and what they think about movie theaters BANNING masks and costumes.