The October 4 premier of the latest "Joker" movie in the United States will not see any Joker face paint, masks or costumes in Landmark Theatres and AMC Theatres. A 2012 shooting during the screening of "Batman" in Colorado motivated the ban on any costume which conceals one's face.
In 2012, during the midnight screening of "The Dark Knight Rises," a gunman opened fire, killing 12 and injuring 70 others. The Aurora Theatre was packed with moviegoers, some of whom were wearing Joker costumes and masks. The gunman was later identified as James Holmes. Holmes is currently serving multiple life sentences even though he pleaded insanity.
Los Angeles based Landmark Theatre chain, which operates 52 theatres, gave Reuters a statement regarding the costume ban. Even though the theatre chain wants customers to enjoy the movie, "no masks, painted faces or costumes will be permitted." Landmark Theatre has not given any concrete reason behind the ban. However, it can be assumed that it is related to the safety of the audience.
Kansas based AMC Theatre, which operates more than 650 theatres, also banned any form of makeup or mask. AMC has reminded moviegoers that they can wear costumes if they want, but they cannot conceal their faces.
In the Aurora Theatre, the movie about the Batman villain will not be screened at all.
Los Angeles police will be more active around theatres during the opening week of the movie. The Los Angeles police claim that even though there are no evident threats, they will "maintain high visibility" to ensure that the moviegoers enjoy a safe experience.
The highly anticipated movie is a backstory of the primary nemesis of Batman. Ahead of the release, Warner Brothers has emphasised that the movie does not hail Joker as a hero. Families of the victims of the Aurora shooting sent a letter to Warner Brothers, urging them to stop funding the National Rifle Association, which was recently branded a terror organisation by the San Francisco council.
Entertainment Weekly reported that Warner Brothers claimed that they have a long history of donating to victims of violence. The company also claimed that the movie is not "an endorsement of real-world violence of any kind."