Security at Aspen’s Isis increases in wake of shooting |

Security at Aspen’s Isis increases in wake of shooting

ASPEN – Though all local screenings of “The Dark Knight Rises” have been peaceful thus far, Aspen’s Isis Theater has ramped up security in the wake of Friday’s killing spree at a movie theater in Aurora.

“Nothing has happened here,” said Kevin Coulombe, assistant manager at the Isis, Aspen’s only movie theater. “This is a peaceful, nice community. We are grateful.”

According to The Associated Press, shortly after midnight Friday, a gunman wearing a gas mask and black SWAT gear set off a gas canister and then opened fire inside a crowded theater in Aurora, killing 12 people and wounding nearly 60 others. The suspect was arrested near a car behind the theater and identified as 24-year-old James Holmes. Authorities did not release a motive.

As a result, Coulombe said he and other Isis managers are now searching moviegoers’ bags. If patrons do not want their bags to be searched, they can leave them in a secure area outside the theater auditorium. If a patron refuses, he or she is given a full refund and asked to leave the theater.

“There have been no changes in our programming, but we have stepped up security,” Coulombe said, adding that 630 people attended the midnight opening of the movie, which was screened to sold-out audiences in all four auditoriums on Friday, and there were no disruptions.

A notice on the door of the Isis, issued by its corporate parent, Metropolitan Theatres, states that the company is working with local law enforcement to ensure a safe movie-going experience.

The Isis is now screening “The Dark Knight Rises” seven times daily, in two different auditoriums. Coulombe said there will be no changes to that schedule, and that as of Friday night, nobody had shied away from going to the movie.

“Nobody seems nervous,” he said. “And, actually, a lot of people are thanking us for taking the extra precautions. They are very responsive and understanding.”

“The Dark Knight Rises” is also showing at Movieland in El Jebel. It is screening seven times daily, and the theater’s recorded movie listings states that another film might be pre-empted to allow for more “Dark Knight” showtimes. The local manager would not comment on any security changes, nor would he comment on whether there have been any incidents at the midvalley theater. A message left for Movieland’s corporate office in Connecticut was not returned.

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