In response to the horrible shooting at a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly promised to station officers at city theaters showing the newest Batman installment, stating that most theaters would have at least two cops on duty in addition to a vehicle parked outside. Yesterday, signs of increased security already began to show, as cop cars sat in front of the AMC Empire 25 Theater on West 42nd St in Times Square and uniformed officers stood guard at the Regal Cinema in Union Square—and many New Yorkers shaken by the Aurora massacre were happy to see them.
"I saw a couple undercover detectives in the bathroom, so that's good," Frank Ballance, who saw Dark Knight Rises at the United Artists movie theater in Downtown Brooklyn, told NBC News. "I'm the kind of person that doesn't think that those type of things are really happening at places I'm going at…I bring my children here and everything, so I try not to have that thought." Peter Rothbard, an actor from Crown Heights who was seeing the movie in Times Square yesterday, noted feeling concerned about seeing the movie, telling the Post, "It's a movie theater—you're sitting ducks."
And Daily News writer Joanna Molloy published a column today about how she questioned whether or not she should let her fourteen-year-old son see the film in theaters. "Should I keep my kid home? Are we all going to be afraid to go to the movies now?" Molloy wrote. She added that she and her husband eventually attended the movie with their son and felt immense relief after seeing police officers stationed in the theater. "In our eyes, the cop may as well have been wearing a cape," Molloy concluded in her column.
Despite beefed up security, some New Yorkers were still edgy about the possibility of copy cats looking to mimic Colorado gunman James Holmes. "It was in the back of my head," Jim Thalman, who saw the movie in Union Square yesterday, told the News. "When a guy came in with a bag, I thought if he puts a mask on, I was going to crack him." But others weren't willing to let fear keep them from enjoying the film. "You don't have any control over these types of situations," Bronx teacher Heidi Harding said. "You just have to life your life."