MJR Theaters: 'Employees Will Be More Diligent and Aware' After Colorado Theater Tragedy
A gunman opened fire in a Denver suburb theater, killing 12 people and injuring dozens during the midnight premiere of 'The Dark Knight Rises.'
The owner of MJR Partridge Creek Digital Cinema says guests wearing masks or costumes will no longer be permitted into theaters, effective Friday, after a 24-year-old gunman opened fire in a crowded movie theater near Denver, killing 12 people and injuring dozens more, according to a Detroit News report.
Mike Mihalich previously told Patch that while no additional security measures would be put in place following the incident, his employees would be cautioned to be more dilligent and aware.
"I've been in this business for 45 years and this is the first time this has ever happened in this industry," Mihalich said. "It doesn't appear that this guy is tied to any terrorist groups so it doesn't appear that this is going to happen across the country. We're diligent, we're going to be aware of it and check our exit doors more frequently, but as far as ramping up security, I dont have any plans to do that this weekend."
According to officials and media reports, the Denver suspect walked into the movie theater through a back exit door that was propped open with a rifle and several other guns. He is being initially identified as James Holmes, from the Denver suburb of Aurora, according to the Today Show.
Most Michigan adults are legally permitted to openly carry registered pistols without a permit and concealed pistols with a permit under Michigan law. Individuals may also openly carry long guns in Michigan. Municipalities aren't allowed to regulate the possession of firearms. According to state law MCL 750.234d, however, the following entities prohibit individuals from carrying firearms onto the premises: Churches Courts Theaters Sports arenas Day care centers Hospitals Establishments licensed under the Michigan Liquor Control Act.
However, according to MCL 28.425o, a person with a Concealed Pistol License may, with the property owner's permission, open or conceal carry a firearm into an entertainment facility that has a seating capacity of fewer than 2,500. If the entertainment facility has a seating capacity over 2,500, the CPL holder may not carry a firearm concealed, but may openly carry a firearm, with the property owner's permission.
A Denver police spokesman this morning told Matt Lauer that 10 people died inside the theater and two more died at a local hospital. The spokesman also said the condition of those injured ranges from minor to serious. He said "early indications" are that the gunman acted alone. Holmes is suspected of entering a movie theater in Aurora dressed all in black, carrying a rifle and handgun and wearing a bullet proof vest and gas mask around 12:30 a.m., where the new Batman film "The Dark Knight Rises," was being screened, and opening fire, the Huffington Post reports.
In the third installment of the Batman trilogy, a villan named Bane wears a bullet-proof vest and gas mask. Mihalich said MJR would be reviewing whether or not it would allow patrons to come dressed in costume as well as if it would continue to offer midnight screenings of new movie releases.
"I think the costume thing is something we will very well ban, but it's something we're talking about internally now," he said. "But look, if this guy would have walked in dressed as GI Joe and walked into the lobby at a 10 a.m. or 4 p.m. show, he would certainly draw attention and he would certainly be stopped and questioned by staff.
At midnight, when the building is full - we had buildings last night with 3,000 people and many of them were dressed in costume - it would be much easier for him to fit in with that crowd unnoticed."
The Huffington Post reported that Warner Brothers had canceled its 'Dark Knight' Paris premeire because of the violence in Colorado. Mihalich said while he doesn't expect a drop in ticket sales this weekend, he wouldn't be surprised if some people chose to stay home from the movies.
"This is a different kind of audience and hardcore Batman fans will come out and see it," he said. Mihalich said he's very sensitive about the fact the shooting happened in a theater. "I've contacted everybody this morning and said, look, this guy apparently got in through an exit door he had propped open earlier," he said. "We do periodically go around the building and check the exit doors, but we're going to do that more frequently. We also have extensive camera systems in all of our buildings. I'm a hands-on owner and I'm very concerned about the welfare and safetly of my employees and my patrons. Anything I have to do to ensure that, I'll do."