The Latest | Southern California breaking news and trends

Batman masks banned in several L.A. theaters, but not all

Moviegoers wait outside the Vista Theatre in Hollywood for the next screening of
Moviegoers wait outside the Vista Theatre in Hollywood for the next screening of "The Dark Knight Rises".
Tony Pierce / KPCC

Listen to

Download this 0MB

In the wake of the tragic shooting Friday morning at a Colorado movie theater during a screening of "The Dark Knight Rises", several theaters in Southern California are banning moviegoers from wearing costumes or masks.

AMC is prohibiting ticket buyers from sporting both masks and costumes, reports the Associated Press.  

"We are terribly saddened by the random act of violence in Aurora and our thoughts are with the victims and their families," the movie chain that owns over 300 theaters said in a statement:

"For the safety and security of our guests and associates, we are actively working with local law enforcement in communities throughout the nation and under the circumstances we are reaching out to all of our theatres to review our safety and security procedures. Being a safe place in the community for all our guests is a top priority at AMC and we take that responsibility very seriously."

The upscale ArcLight Cinema chain are allowing costumes but are drawing the line on masks and/or toy weapons. 

However, one independent Hollywood movie house not only welcomes its audience to don masks and costumes, but the gentleman tearing their tickets will greet them in his own Batman outfit.

Victor Martinez, who has been the manager of the historic Vista Theatre at the corner of Hollywood and Sunset for 25 years says he has never seen anything happen at his location and doesn't expect anything along the likes of what happened in Aurora.

"We're taking every precaution that nothing funny or unusual is going on," Martinez told KPCC on Friday. "I think the police are doing an excellent job because there's a car parked right next to the theater. I think the police department out of their own goodness decided that they should be close to every movie theater because of what happened last night.

Martinez, known for dressing up in character for whatever movie they are showing, said the recent shootings won't stop him from wearing his costume.

"I [wore] it for the first show and everybody loved it," he said with a smile. "It was fantastic."

Martinez said that patrons to the Vista are welcome to wear costumes and masks if they like.

LAPD Commander Andrew Smith said he recommends that people call the police if they see anything suspicious, but they shouldn't change their plans if they have tickets to the show this weekend.

"If I had plans to go and see this movie, you know, I’m certainly gonna go ahead and see it. I wouldn’t let some criminal doing a despicable act like this somewhere else affect my life," Smith told KPCC.

Many people nowadays pre-order their tickets to blockbuster films. If guests wish to exchange or refund any tickets, AMC Theatres said, the chain will allow them to. The Rave Cinemas chain said it would also give a refund to patrons before the screening.