Movie giant AMC Theatres says it's reviewing security procedures after the shooting early Friday morning at an Aurora, Colorado theatre that killed 12 people and wounded 59 others.
The Kansas City-based company said in a statement that it is "terribly saddened by the random act of violence in Aurora." A suspect was arrested outside the theatre near his car after the shooting at a midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" in the Denver suburb.
AMC says it is actively working with local law enforcement in communities across the country to make sure its facilities are safe.
The movies are supposed to be a place to escape from the real world. Now theatres and theatregoers across the country suddenly have safety on their minds, including here in the metro.
Frontline, the security company for the theatres at Midtown Crossing and Village Pointe in Omaha, says it's more a matter of putting in the due diligence and deciding if any layers of security need to be added.
Owners also remind us to put this in perspective. There were 3,700 theatres showing “The Dark Knight Rises” with the one shooting.
For anyone who went to the latest Batman film Friday, especially those at the midnight showing, it's easy for the mind to wander to Colorado and think about the chaos and fear of those seated in the dark theatre. “It was weird thinking about what happened and sad, too." Zach Smith went to a Friday morning showing at Aksarben Cinema when he couldn't get tickets at midnight.
“We had all the reactions that most people had is that it's horrible,” said Aksarben’s Bill Barstow. “It makes you sick to your stomach and it's rare."
For those who run movie theatres, the natural reaction is one of re-examining your own house. "Let's look at everything we do,” said Barstow. “Part of it right now is can we demonstrate to our customers that this is a safe place to be."
Aksarben Cinema, which had a lot of security for the 1,600 there at midnight, is looking at what can be done better, even though there's still plenty to understand about what happened in Aurora.
“You can't help be empathic when innocent people are harmed because we have to put ourselves in those positions because we are going about our business everyday living our lives and that's a vulnerable feeling,” said theatregoer Melanie Williams-Smotherman.
“Colorado again, that's interesting," said Kent Smotherman. While this brings up images of Columbine in Colorado, those here remember our own tragedy, the 2007 shooting at Von Maur.
"As awful as it sounds, this community has been through it,” said Barstow. “It probably allows us to have a more sober view of it and helps us understand what the people of Aurora are going to go through. How do we deal with the terrible things that happen in our lives?”
Aksarben Cinema uses Lion's Gate Security, which has added another layer of security, but won't go into details.
AMC has banned people who wear costumes to the theatre. Other owners say they'll give it some thought, but want to first learn more about what really happened before making any dramatic changes.