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Harkins increasing security presence during Joker showings

Posted at 6:23 PM, Oct 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-04 16:01:53-04

PHOENIX — Harkins Theaters said they will have increased security presence and procedures during showings of the Joker, which premiers Friday.

The dark theme of the film has reportedly worried police and military nationwide, with the concern that it could inspire attacks similar to the Aurora theater shooting during the "Dark Knight" back in 2012.

Harkins released a statement Thursday that confirms they are aware and responding to the public concerns.

“The safety of our guests and our team is our highest priority. We continuously review the security of our theaters and remain in close contact with local law enforcement agencies to ensure we provide the safest environment possible for our guests. Although we are not aware of any specific threats, we will have increased security procedures and presence in place to bring comfort to our guests. While guests are welcome to come in costume, we do not permit masks, face paint or anything that obscures the face.”

Harkins also added that while they welcome people in costumes for movies, masks of any kind are not allowed for safety reasons.

ABC15 reached out to Valley law enforcement to see if they’re aware of the concerns and taking any action at theaters across the Valley.

Phoenix police confirmed that they have “taken precautions” and reminded officers to be extra vigilant in theater areas, but would not go into additional detail. Glendale police say they’re working with “community partners” who have requested extra police presence.

Tempe police say they are not aware of any threats toward theaters.

The movie debuts in theaters across the Valley Thursday night, although the official release date is Friday.