Local theaters react to Colorado shootings - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Local theaters react to Colorado shootings

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DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -

Police agencies have increased security at theaters across the U.S. after a gunman shot 71 people -- at least 12 fatally -- during the premiere of "The Dark Knight Rises" early Friday.

Hours after the shooting rampage in Colorado, fans of the "Batman" films found an unchanged schedule of shows at the AMC Colonial 18 theaters in Gwinnett County. Company officials told FOX 5 that steeper security is in place.  Costumes, masks and fake weapons -- traditional for an opening weekend -- are no longer permitted at the theater.

AMC released a statement saying, "We are 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 theater teams - which we cannot discuss for safety reasons."

At one theater in Lithonia, Ga., fans said they had heard about the shooting, but didn't let the tragedy deter them from going to the movie.

Moviegoer Maurice Norris said that he didn't notice anything unusual in the audience's mood.

"People seemed to be enjoying themselves -- laughing, talking, sad at the sad parts. It seemed about the same as usual," said Norris.

Police are stepping up patrols in the metro area cinemas as a precaution against any copycat events.

DeKalb County Public Safety Director William Miller said that he met with theater managers on Friday. He said that he reassured them that officers were there to provide resources in case of emergencies.

Atlanta Police Department Chief George Turner issued a statement saying: "At this time, we are not aware of any ongoing or immediate threats to movie theaters. We are in constant contact with the FBI, and if that changes we would immediately act to notify theater owners and patrons and provide extra security. We have a working relationship with private security agencies in the City of Atlanta, and will certainly assist them with any requests for extra security or patrols to ensure the safety and peace-of-mind of their patrons. We are saddened and disturbed by what transpired in Colorado and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families, as well as the law enforcement and rescue personnel dealing with the aftermath."

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