Green Country Theaters Ramp Up Security Measures In Wake Of Tragedy

Friday, July 20th 2012, 10:35 pm
By: Tess Maune

Theater managers here in Green Country say they are considering extra security measures in the wake of the massacre that took place in a theater in Aurora, Colorado, during a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises.

A gunman walked in through an exit door at the front of the theater, set off a canister of tear gas, and started firing rounds into the full theater. Police say the man identified as James Holmes, 24, shot as many as 70 people total, killing 12.

7/20/2012 Related Story: Gunman Shoots 70, Killing 12 At Colorado Midnight Movie

At Tulsa's Eton Square 6 Cinemas, the owner has already put a new policy in place, hoping to prevent any such incidents in the future.

"I love movies. I go to them all the time, but it makes you think about what could happen," said Lauren Brown, an employee at Eton Square.

Brown was working the midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises Thursday, when a co-worker texted the terrifying news of Colorado.

"At first we were kind of stunned. We didn't really know what to do," Brown said.

Already, the theater is taking extra precautions to make sure moviegoers are safe.

A new sign is now posted: no large bags or purses are allowed, and if there are any questions, employees will ask to search.

"We're not trying to dig through these ladies' purses or anything, but we want to make sure that everybody in the theater is safe," said theater owner, Mike Mendenhall.

Eton Square, like many other theaters around Green Country, already has a police presence on site.

But Mendenhall stretches his security even further.

He said cameras are constantly rolling and workers continually check all exits.

"Our family works here," Mendenhall said. "We're as cautious as we possibly can be."

And for those who might have reservations about their next trip to the movies - or anywhere, for that matter - Mendenhall said you can't live your life in fear.

"I wouldn't be scared to go to the movies. It was an isolated incident. I mean, it happens at schools, it happens everywhere and life's got to go on," Mendenhall said.

Workers at Eton Square say they actually got a number of calls today to find out if the theater was closed because of the shooting in Colorado.