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US theater chain bans masks, fake guns after shooting
LOS ANGELES: A major US cinema chain announced Friday a ban on face masks and fake weapons in its theaters, following the massacre at a Batman film screening in Colorado that left at least 12 people dead.
In a statement hours after the horrific shootings in Aurora, Colorado, AMC said it would also not allow costumes that might make other filmgoers
“uncomfortable,” in a move to give them “as much peace of mind as possible.” “AMC Theatres is deeply saddened by the Aurora tragedy. Movie-going is part of our social fabric and this senseless act shakes us to our core,” it said, announcing that it was reinforcing security procedures generally.
“At this time, our show schedules circuit-wide will not change,” AMC said, but added: “We will not allow any guests into our theaters in costumes that make other guests feel uncomfortable.
“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,” it said.
“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.” A gunman identified as James Holmes, 24, was arrested after opening fire at a midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” at a Century cinema in Aurora, Colorado.
He was dressed all in black, including body armor and a helmet and gas mask, police said, apparently to protect him against tear gas-type grenades he detonated before beginning to shoot.
Kansas City, Missouri-based AMC Theatres has more than 300 cinemas across the country.
Century Theatres, whose Aurora multiplex was sealed off after the overnight massacre, is part of the Cinemark chain, which has nearly 300 cinemas with some 3,900 screens in 39 states.
Century Theatres did not immediately respond to a request for comment on changes in security measures following the shootings. -- AFP