Shooting Stuns Moviegoers, But the Show Goes On
North Jersey residents say 'you can't live in fear' and show up in droves to see Batman.
North Jersey residents remained stunned less than 24 hours after the deadly Colorado theater shooting that left 12 dead and 70 injured—included a Sussex County woman—during the premiere of the latest Batman movie.
But that didn't stop or scare them from heading to local theaters Friday to see the acclaimed "The Dark Knight Rises."
"I had heard what happened [in Colorado] but it didn't make me not want to go see the movie today," said Tom Moore, 13, who watched the film at the Bellevue Cinema in Montclair.
The alleged shooter, James Eagan Holmes, entered the theater in Aurora, Colo., dressed in all black and with heavy body armor, authorities said. He is believed to have used three weapons and had four with him in total, authorities said.
AMC Theaters announced it will not allow anyone into its theaters in costumes that make other guests feel uncomfortable and will not allow face-covering masks or fake weapons inside AMC buildings.
"If guests wish to exchange or refund any tickets, we will honor our existing policy and do as our guests wish. We are taking necessary precautions to ensure our guests who wish to enjoy a movie this weekend can do so with as much peace of mind as possible in these circumstance," AMC said in a statement.
Hundreds of moviegoers headed to the AMC Theater in Wayne and the AMC Dine-In Theater in Bridgewater Friday night, shaken from the news of the tragedy but determined to see the latest Batman film.
"You can’t live in fear of that stuff," said Heather Anatucci, a Wayne resident. "You can’t stop living your life because of something someone did across the country.”
The shooting also didn't stop those from turning out at the Clearview Cinemas in Parsippany Friday night.
"Worried? No, I'm not worried," Montville resident Landi Simone said, adding that her concern was that her date had not yet arrived.
Parsippany Police said they were going to increase patrols near the Route 46 theater.
Hoboken Police also said they planned to have an increased presence at the city theater.
A Rockaway Police dispatcher said it was going to be "business as usual" Friday night at the AMC Rockaway 16 outside the Townsquare mall.
Despite a sold-out 6:45 p.m. showing of the Batman movie, there wasn't a long line of people waiting or increased police presence outside the Clearview Six in Chester.
Chester resident Bart Case came to the theater with his family to celebrate his son's birthday.
"What happened out in Colorado was on my mind, definitely," Case said. "We talked about it a little when I came home today. But we are going out to celebrate my son's birthday. We didn't think it was a concern that something like that was going to happen. That didn't cross my mind."