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Los Angeles Times, Published July 20 2012

How will Colorado shootings affect ‘Dark Knight Rises’ screenings?

LOS ANGELES — As details emerge about a deadly rampage Friday at a screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora, Colo., there are also questions about how movie theaters and filmgoers around the world will react to the tragedy.

Answers will hopefully be forthcoming throughout the day, but here are a few questions worth keeping an eye on.

• How much will theaters beef up security? It’s trickier than it sounds. On a big-movie weekend like this, most theaters have their hands full managing traffic flow as it is. Throw in metal detectors, pat-downs and other airport-like procedures and you can be looking at excessive delays and serious crowd-control issues. And then there’s this small matter: A lot of moviegoers come to films such as “The Dark Knight Rises” in heavy costume.

• Will theaters cancel parties? Big events were scheduled all over the country and the world for the release of “The Dark Knight Rises.” But nothing feels especially celebratory in the wake of shootings that have claimed at least 12 lives, according to authorities in Colorado. How many events will go on as planned? Already Warner Bros. has canceled the Paris premiere with the film’s stars; more cancellations could follow.

• Will some potential “Dark Knight Rises” filmgoers stay home? With the images from the shootings continuing to flash across our TV and computer screens, not everyone is going to feel like sitting in a darkened theater, especially not to watch the same movie that was playing when the shootings took place.

• Could the violence yield solidarity? A rare comforting angle to this story: School-shooting tragedies such as those at Columbine and Virginia Tech resulted in solidarity events and marches on campuses across the country. Theaters and filmgoers could turn “The Dark Knight Rises” screenings into shows of support for the victims of the Aurora violence.