Colorado Shooting Tragedy Reverberates Locally

Area cinema chain taking precautions following shooting at Aurora, Colo., movie theater that killed 12 people and injured more than 70 moviegoers gathered to watch latest Batman movie.

I don’t get out to the movies very much nowadays. It happens when you have little ones. They are just getting to the point that they enjoy the Disney movies, so it’s still a treat to get out to a grownup movie.

One of the movies I’ve been waiting all summer for is The Dark Knight Rises. I have been a fan of all the Batman movies since they started coming out in the late 1980s. It was always an event when a Batman movie came out and I’d be in line the first day.

We got tickets for the new Batman movie earlier this week. It is the 10 p.m. showing at a theater where I’ve watched many of these summer blockbusters: Classic Cinema 12, in Carpentersville.

The news of the shooting in a movie theater premièring The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colo., has not changed my plans to see the movie tonight. It did leave me wondering how the shooting would affect the movie experience.

There are changes taking place at the Classic Cinema 12 tonight. 

Chris Johnson, vice president of Classic Cinema, said his staff is reviewing safety policies to make sure everyone is aware and vigilant. Staff is checking exits and making sure security systems are working.

A new policy bans visitors from bringing backpacks and large bags into the theater, he said. The theater also is barring masks or other things that can obscure someone’s identity, Johnson said.

Moviegoers who come out for the midnight showing typically enjoy dressing up, he said.

“The midnight show is the event screening,” he said.

Classic Cinema also is working with local police in each town, including the Patch towns of St. Charles, Naperville and Oak Park, he said. Police in some towns already have stopped by theaters, he said.

“I think there is a heightened sense of awareness,” Johnson said.

More than 7,000 people saw the midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises at Classic Cinemas, Johnson said. The chain has had another 7,000 people catch shows during the day Friday.

“I think people understand that it’s probably an isolated case and just a very unfortunate incident to happen in a movie theater,” Johnson said. “It’s just a tragedy, but I think people will look beyond that and say, ‘I have to live my life.’”

Classic Cinemas is making another change for now — the chain will not be holding midnight shows.

There were several scheduled for the rest of the summer including Total Recall and Borne Legacy, Johnson said.

Craig Apelbaum July 22, 2012 at 01:59 AM
We should not live in fear everyday. We should live our lives everyday. That's how we defeat terrorism. This is how we win and terrorists lose.
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