'We can't live in fear'
Kelly Martin of Schnecksville had no apprehension about visiting the Mahoning Valley Cinema last night for the showing of the Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises."
"What happened in Colorado is very sad, but it's not going to happen here," she said. "We can't live our lives in fear. I just think that guy snapped."
Her reference was to a shooting rampage in Aurora, Colo. in which a lone gunman, James Holmes, 24, opened fire in a theater showing the movie. The massacre left 12 people dead and 59 wounded.
The shooting obviously didn't deter local Batman fans from seeing Christopher Nolan's trilogy conclusion.
At Mahoning Valley Cinema, the early evening shows sold out for two screens.
Strong attendance was also reported for the movie at the Angela Theater in Coaldale.
It was also being shown at the Mahoning Drive-In Theater and Becky's Drive-In in Berlinsville, but at these venues rain kept attendance down.
Bruce Copio, general manager of the Mahoning Valley Cinema, said "The Dark Knight Rises" opened at midnight on Thursday and was shown on three screens.
He said he saw only one individual come into the theater dressed in character. That person was dressed as "The Joker." The Colorado gunman reportedly had died his hair red, mimicking "The Joker," before opening fire in the crowded theater early Friday morning.
Neither he nor officials of the Angela Theater plan any major reaction to the Colorado incident. Both theaters already have policies in which backpacks and large bags are prohibited.
Mike Danchak, owner of the Angela Triple Theatres felt it was "an isolated incident."
There also had been a midnight showing of the film at the Angela. Danchak said nobody came dressed as movie characters.
"We're very pleased with the attendance," Copio commented. "People are coming out and seem to be enjoying the movie."
Carl Wartling of Kunkletown, who was looking forward to seeing "Dark Knight Rises" at the Mahoning Valley Cinema, said he was angry when he heard about the shootings in Colorado.
"I believe people will be more aware of their surroundings after that, but it's not going to keep us from going to the movies," he said.