hen Dark Knight Rises director Christopher Nolan expressed his "profound sorrow at the senseless tragedy" that left 12 people dead and 58 injured after a gunman opened fire in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater, he also lamented that the murderer's targets were people who'd let their guard down in a dark room for two hours of entertainment. "The movie theater is my home, and the idea that someone would violate that innocent and hopeful place in such an unbearably savage way is devastating to me," Nolan said in a statement. After Friday's tragedy, some moviegoers had reportedly decided not to see The Dark Knight Rises — or any other movie — in theaters, at least for the time being. Theaters around the country have beefed up security in the wake of the shootings, and risk analysts stress that the tragedy at the Colorado movie theater is an isolated incident, but has our feeling of safety at the movies been irrevocably destroyed?
Moviegoers won't feel completely safe until they regain their complacency: Despite the Colorado shootings, many people still went to see The Dark Knight Rises, says S.T. Vanairsdale at Movieline, telling themselves, "I can't let the [insert menacing perpetrator of violence here] win." But they probably didn't feel the way they once did at the movies, and they may never again. A lot of us will probably adjust our behavior, maybe by arriving "early to get a seat close-by an exit, but then second-guessing your position because [alleged gunman James] Holmes is said to have entered through an emergency exit." Most people won't feel safe, at least not until they regain their complacency. Because, ultimately, "it's easier to be complacent than paranoid."
"You will never feel safe in a movie theater again"
Theaters are going to have to beef up security: To keep people feeling secure in those red velvet seats, says Timothy English at Examiner.com, theaters' security procedures are going to have to change. We may have to pass through metal detectors or have theater employees pass wands over our bodies before we enter. "It's going to drive some people crazy," but it'll need to happen to "keep you and your family safe."
"Colorado shooting may force a change in security measures"
Even increased security won't change the threatening circus atmosphere at midnight showings: Avoiding the theater isn't the answer, and neither is putting metal detectors at the ticket booth, former film critic Steven Senski tells CNN. Midnight showings, which "bring in patrons fresh from the bar, patrons who are sleep deprived," and, with movies like The Dark Knight Rises, people in unnerving costumes, makes for an atmosphere that feels very much "out of the theater's control."
"Are moviegoers passing on planned trips to the theater?"
- WATCH: Jon Stewart and Bill O'Reilly spar over the Obama scandals
- Could the Cleveland kidnapping victims have been rescued sooner?
- WATCH: LeBron James' unbelievable, last-second, game-winning shot
- WATCH: Suspect defends brutal beheading of London man in broad daylight
- A linguistic dissection of 7 annoying teenage sounds
- Sadly, you are uglier than you think
- How the White House's war on media backfired
- 10 things you need to know today: May 23, 2013
- Is Greek yogurt hurting the environment?
- London's gruesome attack and the rising threat of lone-wolf terrorism
- The politics behind Kanye West's 'New Slaves'
- Are we on the cusp of a solar energy boom?
- Why Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn doesn't want tornado relief money
- WATCH: Jon Stewart hates everyone in Washington now
- LIVE UPDATES: Massive tornado tears through Oklahoma City area
- Angry at the government? 5 ways you can fight back
- 7 purported health benefits of drinking coffee
- What is a quantum computer — and why does Google need one?
- Why NASA is funding a 3D pizza printer
- The cool backstory of the Slurpee