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LAPD to increase patrols around Joker over mass shooting fears and warn people to ‘remain vigilant’

The LAPD has said it is increasing patrols around movie theaters next weekend when the Joker is released, after families of the 2012 Aurora theater mass shooting wrote letters to Warner Bros. expressing concern about the film’s content.

Cops in California warned cinema-goers to watch out any signs of danger when going to see the film starring Joaquin Phoenix, after Aurora gunman James Holmes dressed up as the comic book villain when he open fired at a Colorado theater’s Batman screening, killing 12 and injuring 70 others.

‘The Los Angeles Police Department is aware of public concerns and the historical significance associated with the premiere of Joker,’ they said in a statement on Friday. 

‘While there are no credible threats in the Los Angeles area, the department will maintain high visibility around theaters when it opens.’  

Los Angeles Police Department will ‘maintain high visibility around theaters’ when the Joker movie starring Joaquin Phoenix opens next weekend

In this this July 2012 evidence photo, which the Arapahoe County District Attorney's Office released shows the Colorado movie theater with bullet holes following the July 20, 2012, attack by James Holmes in Aurora

In this this July 2012 evidence photo, which the Arapahoe County District Attorney’s Office released shows the Colorado movie theater with bullet holes following the July 20, 2012, attack by James Holmes in Aurora

The announcement was on the same day Landmark Theatres said it will be banning any costumes, masks, face paint, props at showings of the motion picture when it opens October 4.

Seemingly in case of a copycat incident of the massacre seven years ago, LAPD warned people to be on the lookout. 

‘Angelenos should remain vigilant and always be aware of your surroundings,’ LAPD continued in a statement. 

Fans hoping to dress like Phoenix’s villainous title character when Joker hits theaters next weekend, won’t be able to do so at one major theater chain.

TMZ reports that while some theater chains are prohibiting certain items like props or masks, Landmark’s ban is the most restrictive for Joker cosplay fans.

‘We are not allowing costumes, face painting or masks by either our employees or guests,’ Landmark CEO Ted Mundorff told TMZ.

The Landmark Theatres chain currently operates 52 theaters with 252 total screens in 27 markets across the United States.

Cops in California warned cinema-goers to watch out any signs of danger when going to see the film after Aurora gunman James Holmes (pictured) dressed up as the comic book villain when he open fired at a Colorado theater's Batman screening, killing 12 and injuring 70 others

Cops in California warned cinema-goers to watch out any signs of danger when going to see the film after Aurora gunman James Holmes (pictured) dressed up as the comic book villain when he open fired at a Colorado theater’s Batman screening, killing 12 and injuring 70 others

Joker ban: 'We are not allowing costumes, face painting or masks by either our employees or guests,' Landmark CEO Ted Mundorff told TMZ

Joker ban: ‘We are not allowing costumes, face painting or masks by either our employees or guests,’ Landmark CEO Ted Mundorff told TMZ

It has been confirmed that the Joker movie will not be playing in the same Aurora, Colorado theater the 2012 shooting took place at, with the families of the 12 victims sending a letter to Warner Bros. to express their concern.

‘When we learned that Warner Bros. was releasing a movie called Joker’ that presents the character as a protagonist with a sympathetic origin story, it gave us pause,’ the letter read.

The letter tasked the studio with ending, ‘political contributions to candidates who take money from the NRA,’ while also lobbying for gun reform and to, ‘help fund survivor funds and gun violence intervention programs to help survivors of gun violence.’

Warner Bros. responded with a statement of their own, which they began by acknowledging, ‘Gun violence in our society is a critical issue, and we extend our deepest sympathy to all victims and families impacted by these tragedies.’

Theater chain: The Landmark Theatres chain currently operates 52 theaters with 252 total screens in 27 markets across the United States

Theater chain: The Landmark Theatres chain currently operates 52 theaters with 252 total screens in 27 markets across the United States

‘Our company has a long history of donating to victims of violence, including Aurora, and in recent weeks, our parent company joined other business leaders to call on policymakers to enact bi-partisan legislation to address this epidemic,’ they added.

The studio then made it clear that they do not consider Joaquin Phoenix’s character Arthur Fleck, who transforms into the nefarious Joker, should be considered a ‘hero.’ 

‘Make no mistake: neither the fictional character Joker, nor the film, is an endorsement of real-world violence of any kind. It is not the intention of the film, the filmmakers or the studio to hold this character up as a hero,’ the statement concluded.

Regal Cinemas, one of the biggest theater chains in America with over 500 theaters and 7,000 screens, told TMZ they aren’t taking any extra precautions.

‘We do not believe the content or the existence of any movie is a cause or a signal for violence,’ a Regal rep said.

The film is coming off its surprise Golden Lion win as the best film of the Venice Film Festival, long considered an early indicator for awards season prowess.

Joker has gotten strong reviews from critics, with a 76% rating on Rotten Tomatoes with The Hollywood Reporter projecting last week that it would debut at $82 million.

If it does hit that projection, it will break Venom’s record of $80.2 million to become the highest debut ever in the month of October.

Studio statement: Warner Bros. responded with a statement of their own, which they began by acknowledging, 'Gun violence in our society is a critical issue, and we extend our deepest sympathy to all victims and families impacted by these tragedies'

Studio statement: Warner Bros. responded with a statement of their own, which they began by acknowledging, ‘Gun violence in our society is a critical issue, and we extend our deepest sympathy to all victims and families impacted by these tragedies’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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