Eager South Florida Batman fans headed to the cinema early Friday to see the latest film, despite a mass shooting just after midnight at an Aurora, Colorado, screening of the movie.
Several attended a showing of the Dark Knight at Regal Treasure Coast Mall 16 in Jensen Beach.
Fort Pierce resident Robert Rizzo said, “It begrieves (sic) me that that happened, like I’m sure it does every American, but you know, it’s really an isolated incident.”
He added, “I still think that going to the movies is a safe option of an afternoon’s entertainment, so I don’t have any reservations about going.”
The Muvico theater chain told NewsChannel 5's Tania Rogers refunds would be offered to customers who do not want to attend a late showing of the film. However, they would have to ask for the refund before the movie begins.
in Broward County, Colina, of Miami Lakes, said she was not afraid to bring her boy to see the film.
“Crime's gonna happen, whether it's this or any movie,” she said.
Friends and Gamestop co-workers Jason Corbo, 25 of Miramar, and Jesse Martin, 24, of Davie, also arrived early to see “The Dark Knight Rises” at the Davie Cinemark location, where 32 screenings of the movie were to happen through midnight on both Friday and Saturday.
“We had to see it first thing, because all of the people at work would be talking about it and would ruin it,” said Martin, who wore a light blue T-shirt with the yellow and black oval Batman symbol on his chest that matched designs on his sneakers.
A Davie Police marked patrol car was in the movie theater’s huge parking lot at 8:45 a.m. Friday and returned beneath the cinema’s portico a half hour later, as part of his regular beat, the officer said.
Otherwise, there did not appear to be any extra security presence on the premises.
On Friday, Cinemark USA's chief executive officer and president Timothy Warner spoke Friday from Texas, where the company is based.
"We’re very saddened today at Cinemark for the tragic actions that were taken in Aurora, Colorado by a deranged gunman," Warner told Dallas/Fort Worth television station WFAA. "We’re also very very grateful for the quick response of the police department and the emergency response teams that undoubtedly saved a lot of lives by their quick response."
He said the company did not immediately know much more than what was being reported.
"As we get more information we will issue additional press statements," Warner said. "Right now, our full focus and concerns are on the victims, their families and our employees."
Another large theater chain with a big South Florida presence is Regal Entertainment Group, which has "The Dark Knight Rises" screenings scheduled in Boca Raton; Delray Beach; Hollywood; Pembroke Pines; Coral Springs; Miami Beach and other cities.
Regal has 519 U.S. theaters in 37 states and Washington, D.C., and released a statement on its website that also expressed concern for the shooting victims and their families. It pledged to "monitor the situation and adjust our security needs as necessary."
Cobb Theatres and Cinébistro issued this statement:
“All of us at Cobb Theatres and Cinébistro are shocked and saddened by the news of the tragedy that occurred in Aurora, Colorado early this morning. As always, we take the safety, security and comfort of our guests and team members very seriously and will continue to make that a top priority. As a precaution we will be adding additional security procedures at each location to maintain and ensure our guests a safe and comfortable cinema experience. Our hearts and prayers go out to all those affected by this senseless act. “
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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