L.A. police know of no 'Dark Knight' threat but will add patrols
The Los Angeles Police Department says it knows of no specific threats regarding screenings of "The Dark Nights Rises," but officers will increase the police presence at some theaters Friday purely as a precaution.
The blockbuster movie is playing on hundreds of screens across Southern California, and many shows are already sold out.
In Aurora, Colorado, 12 people were killed and 50 injured Friday when a gunman opened fire at a midnight screening of the film. Police have a suspect in custody.
Los Angeles police officials are not requiring every theater showing the film to be checked; each division will make an individual decision as to how often to check theaters, police said.
Sources say there is concern is over a possible copycat incident.
The LAPD checked out the ArcLight in Hollywood during an overnight screening, but no security issues were found, a watch commander said.
"There's nothing that suggests that there's anything sinister planned beyond what happened in Colorado," said Sgt. Enrique Mendoza, watch commander of the LAPD Hollywood division. "What happened in Colorado appears to be an anomaly, an isolated incident."
A manager at the ArcLight declined to comment.
The shooting in Colorado left theater owners and police nationwide scrambling to figure out how to beef up security for patrons as the movie opened in more than 4,000 theaters nationwide.
The gunman in Colorado reportedly wore a riot helmet and a bulletproof vest and was dressed in black, raising questions about whether theaters should ban or limit costumes at the screenings. Many fans of Christopher Nolan's Batman films attend screenings in costume.
At a midnight screening at the ArcLight in Hollywood, patrons came dressed in a variety of Batman-related outfits, including many dressed as Bane -- the burly villain of "The Dark Knight Rises" -- plus the Joker and Harlequin. There was even a small boy dressed in Batman pajamas and a cape.
-- Andrew Blankstein and Amy Kaufman
Photo: Police cars are posted Friday in front of the Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colo., where a gunman opened fire during the opening of the new Batman film, "The Dark Knight Rises," and killed at least 12 people. Credit: Jonathan Castner / AFP/Getty Images