Security measures taken ahead of Star Wars movie premiere - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Security measures taken ahead of Star Wars movie premiere

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Star Wars fans line up early for movie premiere (WFSB) Star Wars fans line up early for movie premiere (WFSB)
(WFSB photo) (WFSB photo)

As fans lined up across the country and in Connecticut to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens Thursday night, many theaters reminded customers about costume rules put in place to keep movie goers safe.

Many theater chains said they welcome cosplay, but placed restrictions on certain props and face coverings.

It's been more than a decade since the last installment of the film franchise. Thursday night's premiere will be a lot different, promised theater officials.

Here's what each theater will let fans do:

  • AMC Theaters - No weapons, masks or face paint. However, lightsabers are allowed but must be turned off during the movie.
  • Bow Tie Cinemas - Costumes welcome, but no face paint, capes, cloaks, simulated weapons (including lightsabers/blasters)
  • Cinemark/RAVE - Costumes welcome, but no face coverings, face paint or simulated weapons (including lightsabers/blasters).
  • Regal Cinemas - Cosplay is welcome, but no masks or weapon-like props.

Security at theaters was beefed up following a mass shooting at The Dark Knight Rises premiere in Aurora, CO back in 2012. Twelve people were killed.

Eyewitness News caught up with some fans at a Star Wars marathon at the Cinemark Theater at Buckland Hills in Manchester. They were there since 3 a.m. to watch all of the films up until the premiere of The Force Awakens at 7 p.m.

"Everybody is really excited," said one fan who didn't want to be identified. "Every time the Lucas Film lit the screen with the logo, everybody claps. I've seen that thousands of times, I'm not excited about it anymore. I'm excited for the Disney symbol at 7."

The fans didn't go in costume as a result of the theater's crackdown.

"Movie theaters are trying to provide a false sense of security for people just like a couple of other things in the world and if it makes people happy and gets people in the theaters, that's fine for them," the fan said. "But I do think it ruins the fan experience a little bit."

Arriving at noon, Kyle Hoglund was first in line at the AMC Plainville theaters, because he said he needed the perfect seat to watch a film he has waited more than 10 years to see.

"Six rows up, dead in the center, going up to the balcony, you want to see everything in the peripheral," Hoglund said.

When it comes to the costume ban, Hoglund said "It does detract just a little bit, I get there are certain fears out there, but I thought with security, they'd know we're just harmless people going to see a movie."

Many moviegoers followed the rules of the theaters.

"I would have dressed up too, but in light of all of the events that's happening we need to be safe," said Amber Canzoni.

The new changes certainly didn't impact ticket sales, as many showings were sold out on Thursday.

Many theaters open at 9 a.m. on Friday to accommodate the crowds.

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