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Local Theaters, Police Adjust After Massacre

New policies and security measures are being hurried into place.

Local theaters and police departments were reviewing policies and procedures Friday following an overnight mass shooting at a movie theater in suburban Denver that killed 12 and wounded 59 others during a showing of the latest Batman film, "The Dark Knight Rises."

The AMC Theatres chain announced on its Facebook page Friday afternoon that it would not allow moviegoers to wear "costumes that make other guests feel uncomfortable." Face-covering masks and fake weapons were also prohibited from the company's theaters.

In Montgomery Township, where AMC operates a nine-screen cinema, police had "adjusted their patrol deployment" in the wake of the tragedy, said Deputy Chief J. Scott Bendig.

Regal Cinemas, which operates a 24-screen theater in the Oaks section of Upper Providence Township, said it will "continue to monitor the situation and adjust security needs as necessary."

Detective William Dixon of the Upper Providence Police Department said Friday afternoon that an officer would be assigned to the Oaks movie theater on Friday and Saturday nights, which he said was normal.

"We're just being aware, and keeping a [patrol] car in that zone [of the township]," Dixon said.

Patch editor Tony DiDomizio contributed to this report.

Gary Y July 20, 2012 at 10:25 PM
I hope they're not planning on stopping people from legally carrying a firearm in the theaters. Just one person carrying in the theater in Aurora could have helped prevent the tragedy from going as far as it did.
Alicia July 20, 2012 at 10:51 PM
Just what we need, more paranoid police on the streets. As far as thinking if you had a firearm you would have been able to somehow be the 'superhero' and stop this massacre...really?? It was a massive ongoing onslaught of bullets flying and you would have had to have been a professionally trained soldier to even have a chance of stopping this man.
Robert R July 20, 2012 at 11:50 PM
regal theaters as is opposed to the second amendment and has a strict no carry policy
Gary Y July 21, 2012 at 01:22 AM
There's no telling what would have happened if someone had been there to fight back against him. Perhaps he would have fled as soon as someone started shooting back. Perhaps they would have shot him and ended this before so many were killed and injured. Perhaps it would have made no difference. All I know is that faced with a similar situation, I'd rather have the means to defend myself and my loved ones than not.
Skinny Elvis July 21, 2012 at 01:22 AM
Let's make a deal: In exchange for banning automatic weapons that have no other purpose but to shoot lots of bullets at a target, we no longer give people a hard time regarding concealed weapons with a permit?
Sergei MacCarron July 21, 2012 at 02:02 AM
I'm in favor of gun rights, but for some reason I doubt one person with a gun could have stopped the slaughter. Seems just as likely they would shoot the wrong person and create more carnage.
Sergei MacCarron July 21, 2012 at 02:03 AM
Yeah, people seem to not realize that someone with a gun could have very easily shot the wrong person and created more confusion and chaos.
David Powell (Editor) July 21, 2012 at 02:44 AM
I'm also generally in favor of gun rights, but I'm mystified by the pro-gun argument that everyone being armed would result in less violence. In this particular case, it's even more difficult than usual to imagine. I don't see how multiple armed parties in a dark theater filled with gunsmoke and the screams of victims would have improved the situation.
K Campion July 21, 2012 at 01:09 PM
What if we just put up metal detectors and have people searched before entering.....these fools can't be stopped, no matter what. The theater was dark, and even if someone had a handgun it wouldn't of helped. I don't have a problem with guns.....my problem is some of the people that are aloud to carry!! I think they need to screen them better before just giving a permit to carry to everyone that passes the background check. There needs to be another process, and they need to make it harder for people to obtain a permit! I have friends that are cops/FBI, I also have friends that just carry. This is just my thoughs......peace all!
Tom Bartman July 21, 2012 at 01:52 PM
This picture says it all. This was at the IMAX theater Friday at noon. http://www.threatcore.com/IMAX-KOP.jpg
Michael J. July 21, 2012 at 02:46 PM
I agree with the picture Tom. But somehow, if that was there on Thursday, people would be complaining about this being a "police state" and that they should "find a better thing to do with our tax dollars"
LP-SC July 21, 2012 at 03:27 PM
To those who feel that someone carrying could have stopped that guy... remember, he had on full body armor. Unless you would have gotten off a clean head shot, all you would have done was become a target - and give him another weapon.
BBB July 21, 2012 at 04:30 PM
That's right, LP-SC. Besides, how does anyone KNOW that no one else in the theater was armed? Maybe some people did have guns but they stayed down on the floor to protect their kids instead of trying to play cowboy with a lunatic.
Robert Kerr Sr July 21, 2012 at 08:28 PM
Right on, brother
Robert Kerr Sr July 21, 2012 at 08:33 PM
Wrong. Logon to "Frontsight" and learn what people are doing. If you don't defend yourself and those around you, nobody else will.
Robert Kerr Sr July 21, 2012 at 08:41 PM
This guy walked in the front then went out an exit where his car was, got the guns, and walked back in and started shooting. How are you going to prevent that. Police can' be everywhere. How about the old guy in Florida, those robbers fled in a hurry.
Tom Bartman July 21, 2012 at 08:56 PM
Very few would have been able to prevent the massacre once it began. Even professionals would have trouble. This was a situation of total chaos in the dark with real bullets. Special forces are trained to stay calm, focused, and yet still make logical decisions during mass confusion. A typical person in the theater would not be able to play cowboy and handle it under the total mass confusion.
Michael J. July 21, 2012 at 10:05 PM
To all the arm chair swat members. If you were in that theater and were armed, I am sure you would be as frightened as the others and would not know what to do.
truthsayer July 21, 2012 at 10:37 PM
We dont know if a lawfully armed citizen (or citizens) would have made a difference in the outcome of this incident, but I think we need to consider the options in a terrible situation such as this. Fight, flight or die. If you fight, you'd better be trained. If you flee, others will likely die. If you coil in fear, you may become a victim. The real issue here is how we choose to live in our society. We have allowed others to become responsible for our personal safety. We have failed to train ourselves and our children how to be vigilant and prepared. We are too complacent, and think that we are safe in most everything we do. We are not. All the horrible incidents of violence that have occurred in public places prove that. And we have changed nothing in regards to our personal safety. We need to teach the benefits of a healthy body and physical fitness. We need to teach observation skills and situational awareness. We need to teach survival skills and tactical responses to situations that we may encounter in our lives. Just as the little girl in Philly refused to be a victim of violence, by biting her abductor until she got free, we need to learn to fight back, and refuse to become a society of victims. If you are trained, you may be frightened, but your fear will not paralyze you, and you may well be able to stop just such an incident.
Harry July 21, 2012 at 10:39 PM
This is truly a tragedy, however it does not mean we need more gun laws. But with the media planting all kinds of seeds in regards to "gun violence", I'm sure the leftist's will try to come up with something. This guy was intent on killing people, the guns were the tools he chose. You all need to take a deep breathe and take it for what it is. Lets do something different for a change and hold the person responsible not the weapon he chose to commit this crime. He chose to kill innocent people, his decision was made long before he got to the theater, once you accept that, you will see that more gun laws will not stop this kind of tragedy or future ones like it. The fact is more people are killed in car accidents than are killed by guns. That's a fact. In 2011, 32,310 people killed in car accidents. In 2010, 8,775 firearms related deaths. The best thing that could've happened is the police could've shot and killed him, saving taxpayers and families years of heartache and legal bs in the court sytem.
Keith Heffintrayer (Editor) July 22, 2012 at 06:40 AM
I agree with you. As a veteran of the United States Army, and considering that I was pretty well trained, I would say that given the situation and environment, even those trained beyond the scope of standard military tactics would have had a hard time dealing with the circumstance. The man was wearing body armor, and he discharged tear gas in a dark room filled with terrified civilians. Even if trained personnel were in the theater, they would have to overcome the gas, line up a clear shot despite the gunfire and civilians, and - using a smaller caliber handgun - hope to line up a headshot within an 8-10 inch window (distance from ballistic helmet to body armor). I'm sure there are a handful of people capable of attempting such a feat, but certainly not the typical American utilizing their Second Amendment rights.
Tom Bartman July 22, 2012 at 05:20 PM
Aurora's STRICT Gun Laws Didn't Prevent Shooting -- http://cnsnews.com/blog/ron-meyer/auroras-strict-gun-laws-didnt-prevent-shooting-if-one-law-abiding-person-theater-had
SMYRNA-X July 23, 2012 at 01:21 PM
Im surprised no one brought up the possibilty of the perps prior mental cond. Gun control or not the human did the crime not the tool. Sure, obviously, the tool is highly effective in its job, but as we will see, he is going to have markers in his past. Movie theaters, and police will have no effect on repeat offenders. We have to watch people, family,friends and assoc. This kid, who could have used help or intervention,was failed by his family/friends. Now he will and should be held accountable by the criminal justice system.

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