News And Politics

South LA theater ups security after Batman movie shooting

July 20, 2012, 12:57 p.m.

University Village 3, one of the only movie theaters in the South L.A. area, is located near the intersection of Hoover Street and Jefferson Boulevard. (Screenshot via Google Maps)

A shooting that took place early Friday morning in a packed Denver-area theater during a midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" has at least one southside venue upping security.

University Village 3, one of the only movie theaters in the area, is "doing things a little differently" in the wake of the shooting that killed 12 and injured more than 70.

"We actually have security combing the inside of the movie theaters, checking people, standing in the doors," said manager Silvia Torres, who said security officers are being careful about who comes in, particularly moviegoers who are costumed.

That's not normal procedure, Torres said. "Usually we just have somebody at the door taking tickets," she explained. "We do theater checks."

Police have arrested the alleged gunman, identified as 24-year-old James Holmes. KPCC reports that Holmes barged into theater in Aurora, Colo., hurled a gas canister and then began firing, causing one of the deadliest mass shootings in recent U.S. history.

University Village 3, which is owned by Flagship Theatres and right next door to USC, hasn't cancelled any screenings – it's only showing three movies, including "Dark Knight," and the increased security measures will be applied to all screenings of all movies.

"We also have cameras outside, which monitor everything," said Torres. "We're just being more careful."

These upped measures will remain in place for a long time, she added, hoping to reassure now-hesitant fans.

"It's a small theater and there's a lot of security and LAPD around here," said Torres, mentioning that most of the theater's customers are families. "I haven't seen anything suspicious, and we've never had anything like that happen here. No complaints, no suspicious, no weapons, nothing like that."

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