Area residents not deterred from movie theaters despite Colorado theater shooting

July 20, 2012|By CALEB CALHOUN |
  • It was normal operations at Leitersburg Cinemas today at the opening of "The Dark Knight Rises."
By Yvette May/Staff Photographer

Area residents lined up to see “The Dark Knight Rises” as early as Friday at 9:40 a.m. at local theaters, despite reports of an overnight shooting in a Colorado theater that claimed at least 12 lives and injured at least 50 other people.

“That didn’t deter me from the movie,” said Nathaniel Holtry of Chambersburg, Pa. “It’s a large country, there’s a lot of people. The chances of it happening where you’re at are very slim to me.”

Holtry, 20, went to the 9:40 a.m. showing at Regal Valley Mall Stadium, and described the film as the best movie all year.

“It took all the other movies and tied it all into one,” he said. “I was expecting a good trilogy.”

In response to the shooting in Colorado, Leitersburg Cinemas planned to have additional security provided by the Washington County Sheriff’s Department Friday and Saturday night, said Andrew Larson, the theater’s general manager.

“We want everybody to feel safe and when they come here to not worry,” he said. “We are making all the employees aware of what to do in a situation that might call for emergency action.”

Larson said that anybody who sees anything suspicious should not hesitate to call 911, and if anything happens, he advised that people in the theaters make sure they get to the exits.

“Better safe than sorry,” he said. “They can always contact me, too, if they see something, and I’ll decide if we need to take further action.”

The managers at Regal Valley Mall were unable to comment for this story.

Josh Buwalda of Hagerstown said he went to the 10:30 a.m. showing at Leitersburg Cinemas.

“My mom and my girlfriend were worried and told me to be careful,” he said. “But I strongly encourage everyone to come out and see it. Don’t be afraid because it’s an amazing movie.”

Buwalda, 18, said he is a fan of the Batman comics and thought the movie was a good reflection of them.

“(Batman) is a modern person who worked himself into being a superhero,” he said. “The last 20 minutes of the movie were amazing. I was very emotional.”

Buwalda went to see the movie with his brother, Jake, 15.

“I wasn’t as big a fan of Batman, but I really enjoyed ‘The Dark Knight,’” Jake said. “This one had a lot more action and the plot was more thought out.”

The movie grossed $30.6 million in midnight showings, according to published reports.

About 500 people showed up for midnight shows in two theaters at Leitersburg Cinemas, and one of the theaters sold out, Larson said.

Joel Taver, 40, of Cascade was in line Friday afternoon getting tickets for the 1:55 p.m. showing at Leitersburg Cinemas. He said he was interested in how Bane, one of the movie’s villains, would be played out.

“He is dark and intelligent,” he said. “The recent Batman movies are a little darker than the Tim Burton ones.”

Nathaniel Gomez, 30, of Fayetteville, Pa., was buying a ticket for the 1:55 p.m. showing at Leitersburg Cinemas. He said he was curious about how Bane would be portrayed.

“It’s a tough villain and character to kind of play off in a movie role,” he said. “It’s kind of easier in the world of comics to play off of something like that.”

Larson said he expected the weekend and the upcoming week to be the biggest of the summer and said Leitersburg Cinemas will stay open later throughout the week.

“We usually have our last show around 7 or 8, but we’ll have another show around 9 or 10,” he said.

Patrick Streifel, 18, of Keedysville also went to the 9:40 a.m. showing at Regal Valley Mall and said that he liked the movie and wanted to see it again.

“It makes it better when you see it twice,” he said. “It was a good movie, but it’s hard to beat the second one.”

Guy Ohler, 23, of Chambersburg went to the 9:40 a.m. showing of the movie, which he said he had been looking forward to seeing since the beginning of the year.

“It’s definitely the best one of the three, and it was the best movie of the year,” he said. “I liked the action and the ending.”

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