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Local theaters tighten rules

Most say they’ll now ban certain types of costumes, accessories

Theaters have banned costumes and were poised to search moviegoers’ bags in the wake of Friday’s shootings in Aurora, Colo., that killed at least 12 people and wounded dozens of others.

AMC theaters across the nation are not allowing people to wear “face-covering masks, costumes that make guests feel uncomfortable or fake weapons,” according to a corporate news release. “We’re reinforcing our security procedures with our theater teams, which we cannot discuss in detail for obvious safety reasons,” the release said.

AMC operates theaters in River Park Square.

Spokane law enforcement had not been asked as of Friday to work at area theaters showing the latest Batman offering, “The Dark Knight Rises,” police officials said.

Regal Cinemas, which operates theaters in the Spokane Valley Mall and NorthTown Mall, released a statement saying “as is our custom, we will continue to monitor the situation and adjust our security needs as necessary. In the meantime, our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families.”

The statement added: “Moviegoers should expect stricter controls over character attire and accessories at our theaters.”

Village Center Cinemas in Airway Heights and Wandermere will be a little more vigilant than usual while checking patrons’ bags, said Sergio Contreras, general manager.

“We check normally for alcohol or movie cameras. Guns are obviously not allowed in theaters,” Contreras said. Costumes had been allowed, but are rarely worn by moviegoers at regular showings.

“We hope the incident in Aurora was an isolated incident,” Contreras said. “We are sorry for what happened.”

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