Theaters amping up security for ‘Joker’ screenings

State & Regional

This image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Joaquin Phoenix in a scene from “Joker,” in theaters on Oct. 4. Alarmed by violence depicted in a trailer for the upcoming movie “Joker,” some relatives of victims of the 2012 Aurora movie theater shooting asked distributor Warner Bros. on Tuesday to commit to gun control causes. Twelve people were killed in the suburban Denver theater during a midnight showing of the Batman film, “The Dark Knight Rises,” also distributed by Warner Bros. (Niko Tavernise/Warner Bros. Pictures via AP)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Theaters across the U.S. are increasing security as the “Joker” movie hits the box office for its opening weekend amid reported chatter on the dark web about a possible theater shooting.

While there have been no specific or credible threats, both the FBI and the U.S. Army investigated the rumors.

Concerns stem from a variety of factors, chief among them the 2012 mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, during a screening of “The Dark Knight Rises.” Additional concerns include the fact that the film focuses on an origin story of the Batman supervillain Joker in a more sympathetic light.

Austin-based theater chain Alamo Drafthouse told KXAN that it communicates with local law enforcement on an ongoing basis to ensure safety and that security personnel will be at Drafthouse locations this weekend.

A KXAN employee who watched the movie Thursday said the Alamo Drafthouse they went to had signs on the door letting moviegoers know that their bags could be searched before entering the movie.

Alamo Drafthouse says you can dress up to see the movie — but people in costume could be searched or asked to leave for any reason.

Meanwhile, AMC Theaters are banning masks despite still allowing costumes. Cinemark has announced it will not show ‘Joker’ at its Aurora theater.

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