Movie theaters in North America are trying to make sure there is no repeat of the shooting tragedy that took place in Aurora, Colo., early Friday morning that left 12 dead and nearly 60 wounded.
And some have decided to take away one aspect enjoyed by many fans when genre films come out -- allowing costumes.
Initial reports had the AMC theater chain, which operates more than 5,300 screens in North America, as totally banning costumes from its theaters in light of the Colorado shooting. But later, the chain said that wasn't the case.
"We're reinforcing our security procedures with our [theater] teams, which we cannot discuss in detail for obvious safety reasons," AMC said in a statement. "Local law enforcement agencies, our landlords, and their and our local security teams are stepping up nationwide to ensure we provide the safest environment possible for our guests. We couldn't be more grateful for their collective support."
After news reports surfaced about a total ban, AMC updated its social media feeds to say that it wasn't the case.
"Contrary to media reports, costumes are not banned, but we will not admit guests with face-concealing masks and we will not allow fake weapons in the buildings," the chain said. "We want all our guests to feel comfortable at our [theaters] and we will be closely monitoring."
The shooter, James E. Holmes, was said to be wearing protective armor and gear during his shooting rampage, although it's not clear if he wore all of that equipment -- including a reported gas mask -- into the theater. Typical costumes for a film event like this would be people dressed as Batman, Catwoman or any of the villains. Under AMC's new rules. these costumes -- including that of Bane -- would have to be altered as to not conceal faces.
The Century 16 theater in Aurora is actually owned by Cinemark Theatres, which bought the chain in 2006. That chain, which is the third largest in the nation, released a statement Friday that said it was "deeply saddened about this tragic incident. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and loved ones, our employees, and the Aurora community. We are grateful for the quick and professional reaction of all local law enforcement and emergency responders."
The chain added that it was working closely with the Aurora Police Department and local law enforcement.
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