Colorado Shooting Sparks Debate About Costumes in Theaters

By Megan Trent

July 24, 2012 Updated Jul 24, 2012 at 8:39 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - A number of safety and security debates have been sparked by the recent Colorado movie theater shooting, including discussions about allowing costumes inside theaters.

It's not uncommon to see fans dressed up as their favorite movie characters on premier nights. Fans are willing to stand in line for hours dressed as a character from Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, or the latest graphic novel movie.

Reports indicate James Holmes, the 24-year-old accused of killing 12 people in Colorado and injuring 58 others, came to the premier of The Dark Knight Rises dressed in body armor and a gas mask. With so many other movie patrons dressed in costumes, his attire might not have been the red flag it likely would have been in other settings. Holmes also reportedly told police, "I am the Joker," as he was being taken into custody.

In some parts of the country, theaters are already banning costumes in the wake of the shooting. Others say costumes aren't the problem and, instead, are a great way to enjoy a night at the movies.

The debate was also the topic of conversation for many people attending the Allen County fair on Tuesday.

"It's just part of the fun," a few people commented.

Others contend that costumes should be banned in the name of safety. "Prior to the event in Colorado I would have said it's great. It's fun. People should do it," said one Fort Wayne mother of six. "But after the tragedy, I say it should be banned. No more."

So far, area movie theaters aren't commenting on the possibility of banning costumes.

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