Area moviegoers may be stunned by the massacre in Colorado but they're still heading out to see "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. "I thought the movie was even better than I expected and I'd go see it again tomorrow if I could."
Even so, AMC Theaters 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.
West Caldwell student John Franklin, 15, and four of his friends went to a showing of the film at the Caldwell Cinemas Friday. He said his friend's mom drove them to the theater and told them to be careful, find an exit, and leave if they saw anything suspicious.
"Everything was fine," he said, adding there were no police around the theater, but there was also no trouble. The showing was sparsely attended, he said, but that may also have been because the show was in the middle of a work day.
He said the Colorado shooting was on their minds before the show, but once they got in the theater, they didn't focus on it. Franklin, who is a fan of the "Dark Knight" series, said he was glad he went to see the movie and would recommend it to others.
Although the police presence at theaters in New York City and in other large cities was stepped up on Friday, no additional security detail was added in Montclair.
"[The Colorado shooting] appears to be an isolated incident," said Montclair Detective Lt. Angel L. Roman Jr. "Officers are aware and will be in and around the area periodically paying special attention.
"But no additional security detail has been added," he said.
Even so, at 40 theaters showing the film around New York City, police officers were on hand—not because of any threat but simply to reassure moviegoers and the parents of moviegoers.
"We know a lot of young people will be going to see this movie," said New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly at a news conference Friday.
And, according to several news reports, security was stepped up at many theaters in other big cities around the country.
The National Association of Theater Owners said in a statement that its members are "working closely with local law enforcement agencies and reviewing security procedures." At the same time, AMC Theaters said it is "actively working with local law enforcement in communities throughout the nation and under the circumstances, we are reaching out to all of our theaters to review our safety and security procedures."
A heavily armed gunman identified as James Holmes, 24, of Aurora, Colorado, attacked a movie theater in that town early Friday, opening fire and ultimately killing 12 people and wounding dozens more.
The theater, showing the new Batman movie, was packed with people, some dressed in costume for the film's premiere.
Despite the incidents, area theaters are continuing to show the movie at the regularly scheduled times.
The film is showing at Clearview's Caldwell Cinema. For showtimes go here. The film also is showing at the Bellevue Cinema in Montclair. For showtimes go here. And the movie is at the AMC Clifton Commons. For showtimes go here.