Local cinemas have stepped up security for the highly anticipated premiere of the third and final Batman movie, The Dark Night Rises, when it opens next week.
This action follows yesterday's mass shooting at a midnight screening of the movie at a Century 16 theatre at the Aurora Mall, some miles away from Denver in Colorado, USA.
Initial reports said 12 people were killed in the incident and as many as 50 patrons wounded when 24-year-old James Holmes unloaded four weapons full of ammunition into the unsuspecting crowd.
The number of casualties makes the incident the largest mass shooting in US history.
Holmes entered the movie auditorium wearing a ballistics helmet, bullet-proof vest, bullet-proof leggings, gas mask and gloves.
He detonated multiple smoke bombs before firing at viewers in the sold-out auditorium, police said yesterday.
As he exited the theatre, Holmes was confronted and arrested by police.
Derek Chin, chairman of cineplex chain Multicinemas Ltd, which owns and operates the MovieTowne cinemas, said yesterday he was upset and concerned by what had transpired, and the Invaders Bay cineplex had gone to "orange alert" yesterday morning.
"We don't know (what was the reason for) the attack. We don't know if there is some network (involved). Prevention is better than cure and we have put things in place. MovieTowne is not taking any chances. There will be police officers and a few patrol cars here. We are monitoring it," he said.
Chief executive officer of Digicel IMAX, Ingrid Jahra, said yesterday she had been closely following the situation since it unfolded, but had not received any special instructions from movie studio Warner Brothers or the IMAX Corporation.
The first showing of the film at the Digicel IMAX theatre, One Woodbrook Place, St James, is at midnight next Wednesday.
Over one hour of the film has been shot using IMAX technology.
"I am looking at my security arrangements and making them a little tighter," Jahra said.
She said there have been "steady sales" in tickets for the film since they were made available last month.
Marketing officer at Digicel IMAX, Jannessa Kalloo, said moviegoers have been eagerly anticipating the film, with some individuals wanting to book an entire row and requesting as many as 50 tickets.
Some eyewitnesses to the shooting in the United States yesterday said the shooter was wearing a camouflage outfit and gas mask similar to that worn by the film's villain, Bane, played by English actor Tom Hardy in the Christopher Nolan-directed movie.
Police sources in the US also said the gunman identified himself as "The Joker", the main villain in the second Batman movie, The Dark Knight.
Kalloo responded to this yesterday: "My take on it is that somebody is a little too much into the movie. There are fans and then there is obsession."
She did not foresee the event affecting attendance at any of the showings.
"We should be aware (of the situation), but I don't think we should panic," she added.
Film review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes recently had to suspend comments on reviews of The Dark Knight Rises when users began to post abusive messages, calling reviewers "morons", and suggesting they should be beaten "with a thick rubber hose into a coma" or "die in a fire", international media reports said.
This was in response to reviewers calling the film "murky" and "a mite predictable".
Critic Marshall Fine called it "grandiose, not grand", adding that "Nolan gets so caught up in creating an epic adventure that he hammers the 'epic' and neglects a crucial component: the adventure".
Christy Lemire, of The Associated Press, wrote: "The Dark Knight Rises is plot-heavy, obsessed with process, laden with expository dialogue and flashbacks that bog down the momentum and—dare I say it?—just flat-out boring at times."
Rotten Tomatoes has since removed the reviews.