A Huntington Beach movie theater that was temporarily closed due to a threat associated with its screening of the new film “Joker” was reopened Friday, but with heightened security.
According to Huntington Beach police, authorities received information Wednesday about a possible threat to the Century Huntington Beach and XD, located in the 7700 block of Edinger Avenue, near Beach Boulevard. Police on Thursday “deemed the threat was credible enough to provide a uniformed presence at the theater,” police said.
Police did not immediately disclose the nature of the threat or how it was made.
As a result of the threat, the management of the theater made the decision to stop showing all movies scheduled to run after 4:45 p.m. Thursday.
Ticket holders for a scheduled 10:30 p.m. showing told a news photographer at the scene they were disappointed they were turned away from seeing the movie.
But police said Friday morning “it was determined that the theater could safety reopen today and resume normal operation.”
“The Huntington Beach Police Department will provide patrols at Century Theater for the rest of this weekend,” according to police. “We are working in conjunction with the theater’s management as well as mall security to provide a safe environment to the public.”
The opening of “Joker” has prompted some public safety concerns across the country. The movie, starring Joaquin Phoenix in the lead role, is a violent, realistic take on the murderous comic book villain of “Batman” infamy.
Some people have expressed fears that the movie could inspire a real-life killer to commit an act of mass murder such as the one committed by a gunman during a 2012 midnight screening of the Batman film “The Dark Knight Rises” at a cinema in Aurora, Colorado, where 12 people were killed and dozens were injured.
Los Angeles police said Thursday they plan to maintain a “high visibility” presence in areas where the film is showing.
“The Los Angeles Police Department is aware of public concerns and the historical significance associated with the premiere of the `Joker,”’ according to a department statement. “While there are no credible threats in the Los Angeles area, the department will maintain high visibility around movie theaters when it opens.
“We encourage everyone to go out and enjoy all of the weekend leisure activities this city has to offer, however, Angelenos should remain vigilant and always be aware of your surroundings. As always, if you see something, say something.”
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