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'Dark Knight Rises': Security enhanced at local theaters

Movie-goers express cautious optimism that 'it won't happen here.'

July 20, 2012|By Mark Kellam, mark.kellam@latimes.com
  • Victor Vizcarra heads to watch "The Dark Knight Rises" at an AMC theater in Burbank on Friday. Vizcarra said that the massacre that occurred in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado at the midnight showing of the film is "Pretty scary, an outrage." He added, "It's terrible."
Victor Vizcarra heads to watch "The Dark Knight… (Raul Roa / Staff…)

The inside of Warner Bros studios was “a little more somber” following a shooting rampage during a midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” early Friday morning in Aurora, Colo., according to an employee who was walking out of the Burbank-based company's “Ranch” gate.

“But I guess that's just because once you know about it, it changes how you see everything,” Jeff Palm, an animation concept designer for the studio, said Friday afternoon.

He said no internal company statement had been issued to the employees about the tragedy. James Holmes, 24 of San Diego, allegedly shot and killed 12 people and injured dozens more.

“Usually when there's something like this that happens, the president and CEO will send out an email just giving some thoughts, but nothing like that yet,” Palm said.

Palm added that he thinks the incident will have an impact on movie-goers.

“It's gonna kinda change the way we see the movie; or at the very least, when you go to the movies, it'll be on people's minds,” he said.

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Earlier that day, the company released a public statement regarding the shootings.

“Warner Bros. and the filmmakers are deeply saddened to learn about this shocking incident,” the statement said. “We extend our sincere sympathies to the families and loved ones of the victims at this tragic time.”

Representatives for the two theater companies that have complexes in Burbank and Glendale — AMC Theaters and Pacific Theatres — both said their companies are enhancing security measures.

AMC doesn't allow fake weapons and Pacific did not doesn't permit props of any kind. In addition, both companies said they would not allow movie-goers to wear costumes with masks.

Both companies said they would issue refunds to any customer who requests one.

Burbank and Glendale public safety officials are stepping up security at local theaters in the wake of the shootings, but said there have been no incidents.

Burbank Police Sgt. Darin Ryburn said he was working with the studio to ensure security of its facilities and at the city's downtown AMC theaters.

Ryburn stressed that all residents and businesses should be aware of their surroundings.

In Glendale, Sgt. Tom Lorenz said no issues were reported at “Dark Knight” showings early Friday at Pacific Theaters in the Americana at Brand.

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