Batman costume fans, take note: will not allow masks and prop weapons with costumes at their theaters, after a shooting spree in Colorado at a midnight showing of "Batman: The Dark Knight Rises," according to the chain's headquarters.
People wearing costumes that "make other guests feel uncomfortable" will also not be allowed, according to the AMC Theatres, which owns the movie theater on Factoria Boulevard.
Early Friday, a gunman at a theater in Aurora, Colo., reportedly wore a gas mask and a bulletproof vest and opened fire, wounding 59 people and killing 12, according to The Coloradoan. Authorities identified the gunman as 24-year-old James Holmes, according to CBS News.
Regal Entertainment, which operates the Issaquah 9, has not followed suit, saying in a press release that it will adjust security at theatres as needed. Regal Entertainment Group issued the following statement today:
We are profoundly saddened by the tragedy that occurred at a Denver area theatre and are concerned for the victims and their families. The security and safety of our guests and staff is always our number one priority. As is our custom, we will continue to monitor the situation and adjust our security needs as necessary. In the meantime, our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families.
Witneses and victims told CBS News that Holmes stood by the emergency exit and started shooting about 20 minutes into the movie.
The AMC Theatre chain posted on its Facebook page that security measures are being tightened and that masks and weapons will not be allowed as part of any costumes:
We will not allow any guests into our theatres in costumes that make other guests feel uncomfortable and we will not permit face-covering masks or fake weapons inside our buildings. If guests wish to exchange or refund any tickets, we will honor our existing policy and do as our guests wish. We are taking necessary precautions to ensure our guests who wish to enjoy a movie this weekend can do so with as much peace of mind as possible in these circumstances.
According to ABC News, which called the shooting "The Batman Massacre," Holmes was seen at the theater wearing "a ballistics helmet, bullet-proof vest, bullet-proof leggings, gas mask and gloves," -- attire that might not have seemed immediately out of place for a movie that attracts costume-going and masked fans. The movie's villain, Bane, wears a gas mask (as seen in the publicity photo attached to this story).
Were you planning to go in costume? Do you think this is an overreaction, or a reasonable precaution?