Local movie theaters on alert after Colorado mass shootings

By Denise Jackson

July 20, 2012 Updated Jul 20, 2012 at 9:51 PM CDT

PEORIA,Ill--Theaters around the country are on alert after the mass shootings at a Movie theater in Aurora Colorado early Friday morning during a special showing of Batman: Dark Knight Rises.

Here in Central Illinois general managers say the show must go on.

"Hello, no we're still gonna show the movie," said Landmark Cinema Manager Zach Washburn to a caller on the phone after word spread of the shooting massacre in Aurora, Colorado.

"The individual that did this clearly was sick in the head. But I been telling people things in Peoria are not that bad," he said.

Unlike Landmark Willow Knolls 14 General manager Chris Dungan says he has not received calls from the public about the shootings. Dungan says he's reviewing Homeland Security guidelines but does not plan to add more security.

"Obviously we're anticipating it being the biggest movie of the summer, we're gonna have enough staff to handle that. So we're staffed up probably more now for this weekend than we've been for any other weekend," he said.

Washburn says due to the tragedy in Colorado they're asking Landmark customers not to wear masks or costumes this opening weekend.

He says some employees however still plan to wear character costumes from the Batman Movie "Dark Knight Rises" which is expected to attract huge crowds over the next few days.

"I was like not even sure if I should go see the movie or not cause it can happen anywhere especially at that time of night. So I had to think about it," said Justin Bryant of Peoria.

"I think it's just an isolated incident and I don't think it could happen here cause it sound like it's just a one guy kind of thing," said Chennele Butts who had come to see the movie at Landmark Cinemas.
"I can understand being upset about something but to go all out like that, that's just uncalled for. He had to be off his meds or something," said Steven Beer.

While motives are still unclear for the movie massacre the general managers say theaters are still safe but stress that unfortunately any public place can become a target for disaster.