Update, July 21 at 7:15 a.m.
Here is a statement from Rave Cinemas Director of Marketing Danny DiGiacomo about security at its facilities:
“We are incredibly saddened by the shooting in Colorado. Our hearts go out to the families affected by this tragedy.
We take security very seriously and will continue to make every effort to ensure that our moviegoers are safe when they visit our theaters.
In the wake of the events in Colorado, each of our theaters across the country is evaluating the security it has in place and whether or not to increase safety measures and we will provide them with additional support and resources if they need them.”
In the wake of a horrific shooting during a midnight screening of the latest Batman movie at a Colorado theater, Patch wondered what security was in place at the local in Berlin.
The answer is none.
"They haven't had an officer there in years," Berlin Assistant Chief John Klett said. "We used to have an officer and a presence there on the weekend and for big openings but they haven't asked for us to work there in a long time. We step up our patrols there on weekends, but otherwise it is random patrols going by that area during the week."
Todd Mercure, Manager of Rave Cinemas in Berlin where "The Dark Knight Rises" is playing, says the theater does not have police working there.
"We used to have a police officer but we haven't had one in quite a while," he said. "Any other questions should be referred to our home office."
Mercure said that the theater has midnight openings every Thursday but they usually get "8 to 10 people" to show up to those shows. Mercure said that almost 500 patrons showed up for the midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" on Thursday night. "We had a large turnout."
Apart from increasing security measures at its locations, AMC Theatres (There is an AMC in Plainville) announced Friday it is prohibiting guests into its theaters that wear costumes and masks or who carry fake weapons. The national movie theater company announced the policy change on its Facebook page Friday in light of the tragic shooting in Colorado at a movie theater by a heavily armed gunman. The incident has left 12 people dead and over 70 wounded. Often times during blockbuster movie premiers — such as Star Wars, Harry Potter or Twilight — ardent fans will don costumes that resemble the characters of the film.
At the same time, AMC said its reinforcing its security procedures and coordinating such efforts with local authorities. “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,” the statement read.
Here’s the full statement from the company:
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. We’re reinforcing our security procedures with our theatre teams, which we cannot discuss in detail for obvious, safety reasons. 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.
At this time, our show schedules circuit-wide will not change. 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.
The Connecticut State Police will be making regular checks on facilities today where people gather en masse, a spokesman told Patch.
“We’ll certainly increase our frequency, let’s put it that way,” said Lt. J. Paul Vance, Connecticut State Police spokesman. “We’ll be visible and we’ll make additional checks of areas and large facilities where people converge.”
Janelle Bourne, manager of the former Destinta Theatres, now , where "The Dark Knight Rises" is playing, says the theaters do not employ security officers. "We don't allow anyone with a backpack past the person at the ticket booth."
Vance said the state police are monitoring the news reports surrounding events of the Aurora, Colo., shooting, with happened early Friday morning. Because of the public concern over the incident, the state police will make themselves visible as a precaution, the spokesman said.
A gunman reportedly walked into the theater and unleashed a tear gas-type substance as movie goers were watching a screening of “Batman: The Dark Knight Rises.” The heavily armed suspect then opened fire at the crowded theatre, reportedly killing 12 people and injuring 38.
The Huffington Post has identified the suspect as 24-year-old James Holmes. He was later caught outside the theater.
As tragic as the event was, Vance noted that this shouldn’t cause panic in the minds of the public. But in an interest of public safety, state police patrol cars will make regular checks on facilities where people gather in en masse.
“But we also want people to understand that they should be vigilant and observant,” Vance said. “Some of the basic common sense measures when they go into a facility that holds many people know where the exits are.”
And, as always, if a person sees something suspicious, they should report it to the proper authorities, he said.
“We will do our part being visible and making periodic checks,” he said.
The New York Police Department has implemented a similar security boost earlier today, when Commissioner Ray Kelly said there would be more officers at movie theaters as a precaution against copycats and to raise movie goers’ comfort levels, .