Movie theater officials for Batavia's Randall 15 IMAX and other sites want to reassure residents that they will be safe watching the latest Batman movie and other shows, even after one of the largest shootings in U.S. history.
A Friday midnight screening of the The Dark Knight Rises was the scene of a mass shooting in Aurora, CO. As of early Saturday morning, 12 people were dead and about 58 wounded, according to CNN.
Colorado police have arrested 24-year-old James Holmes in connection with the shooting, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Police said Holmes is accused of entering the Denver-area theater during a Dark Knight Rises screening, armed with tear gas, an assault rifle, a shotgun and two pistols.
A total of 30 people remain hospitalized and 11 of them are in critical condition, the CNN report said.
"Goodrich Quality Theaters wants to express our condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims at the shooting in Colorado," a statement read on the Randall 15 Facebook page. "This tragic circumstance centers on an unbalanced individual, not on a movie theater."
The Dark Knight Rises will continue to be shown throughout the weekend at its previously scheduled showings in Batavia.
The shooting was not related to the film, and moviegoers should feel safe venturing out to their local multiplex, said Heath Thomas, manager of Goodrich Quality Theaters’ western region.
Thomas oversees several theaters, including Batavia's Randall 15 IMAX and Goodrich Kendall 10 off of Route 30 in Oswego.
Thomas was at the Oswego location on Friday morning, and he said the theater’s usual security measures are in place. Goodrich is not taking special measures to increase security, Thomas said, but practices are already in place to ensure safety.
Theater staff, he said, is trained to watch for suspicious people, and report them to police. In Oswego, he said, off-duty Oswego police officers are used for weekend security, and the theater is equipped with means of contacting police quickly.
did not return a phone call seeking comment on Friday, but Batavia Patch has observed squad cars regularly patrol the Randall Road business corridor, which includes the Randall 15 theater.
Gangster Squad Trailer Dropped
While the Dark Knight screenings continue, one of its preceding trailers won't. The preview for the film Gangster Squad was removed from all screenings of The Dark Knight Rises, said Brian Wester, general manager at Kendall 10.
Warner Brothers, the studio behind the latest Batman film, instructed all theaters to pull the trailer, Wester said.
Gangster Squad is "a chronicle of the LAPD's fight to keep East Coast Mafia types out of Los Angeles in the 1940s and 50s," according to a synopsis provided on the Internet Movie Database website.
The movie's cast includes Sean Pean, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone and more.
Batavians React to Shooting Online
Several Batavians took to social media Friday to express their shock and condolences following the mass shooting in Colorado. Here are some public tweets from residents:
Ron Pringle said:
Considering I took my entire family to see the DARK KNIGHT trilogy last night, waking up to news from Aurora, CO has shaken me up.
graduate Alex Moore said:
My heart goes out to all those who died in the screening of Dark Knight in aurora colorado #Praying
‘Dark Knight’ Director Speaks Out
At about 9 p.m. Central Time on Friday, ‘Dark Night Rises’ director Chris Nolan released a statement on the Aurora, CO, shooting, speaking for all of the film’s cast and crew.
Here are some excerpts of Nolan's original message, as posted on The Dark Knight Rises Facebook page:
I would like to express our profound sorrow at the senseless tragedy that has befallen the entire Aurora community. ...
The movie theatre is my home, and the idea that someone would violate that innocent and hopeful place in such an unbearably savage way is devastating to me.
Nothing any of us can say could ever adequately express our feelings for the innocent victims of this appalling crime, but our thoughts are with them and their families.