GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Hundreds of West Michigan theater goers did not let the massacre in Colorado keep them from seeing "The Dark Knight Rises", but some local theater operators revisited their security plans in its wake.
Goodrich Quality Theaters, which operates six theaters across West Michigan, stepped up security by asking people to take off their masks.
AMC, which operates theaters in Holland and Grand Rapids, is not allowing any costumes or masks at all.
However, no changes were made at Celebration Cinema theaters despite the Colorado shooting. In fact, movie-goers are allowed to go into the movie whether they are dressed up or not.
Celebration Cinema told 24 Hour News 8 they already had more staff in place simply because they expected big crowds for the film. Executive VP Steve Van Wagoner said the theater has a number of security measures in place, but they keep them under wraps so no one knows how to get around those measures.
One excited moviegoer says he made a mask, but his mother wouldn't let him wear so he compromised by painting his face like the joker.
"I was really sad because it took me three days to make but I also was a little on edge about going into an IMAX showing," said Parker Arent, who painted his face for the movie. "But fear does nothing but hold you back so why listen to it?"
Most of the people attending "The Dark Knight Rises" shared one common view: They are sad over what happened, but were not going to let it ruin what they have been anticipating for awhile.
"I'm still really excited for this. I'm not going to let one idiot ruin my experience," said moviegoer Mark Horn. "We all have to go on and that's a good way to honor the victim's lives."
"It's on our minds obviously," said moviegoer Lily Gryka. "But we're not going to let it stop us from having a good time."
24-year-old James Holmes allegedly opened fire in an Aurora, Colorado movie theater during a midnight screening of the new Batman movie, killing 12 and injuring 59.
Officials at the AMC Theaters said, in a statement they 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 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 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. ... "
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