MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — As Batman fans gathered for a midnight showing inside Minnesota theaters Thursday night, they had no idea that tragedy was about to strike a thousand miles away.
Police say 24-year-old James Holmes had dyed his hair red and told officers he was the Joker after he opened fire on moviegoers in Aurora, Colo. He killed 12 and wounded nearly 60 others in his rampage.
“I cried…I said some prayers for [the victims],” said Jackie Christenson, who was outside Willow Creek 12 in Plymouth Friday, waiting to take her son to a screening of “The Dark Knight Rises.”
But while thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families, the shooting is not keeping people from theaters in Minnesota.
“I have a hard time believing people are going to avoid a movie that they have been waiting to watch for months, maybe years,” said Matt Dole, who was at Willow Creak Friday.
Even still, AMC theaters across the country are not allowing fans to wear masks into the movie, or costumes that might make other moviegoers feel uncomfortable. Regal theaters said they will take a similar approach.
Extra security is also expected at most theaters. Eden Prairie police said they increased patrols outside the mall’s theater Friday night.
“Dark Knight Rises” is a blockbuster, but fans know it will forever be tied to the tragedy.
“The night it came out, this happened,” said fan Jack Powers. “People are going to be talking about it for a long time. So I mean…it kind of puts a damper on the movie, but at the same time, you can’t take it out on the movie.”
Most of the theaters around the Twin Cities said ticket sales are up significantly and there have not been any cancellations.