Security heightened at cinemas for 'Star Wars' premiere - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Security heightened at cinemas for 'Star Wars' premiere

(FOX19 NOW) (FOX19 NOW)
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

Planning to show up to see "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" in full costume?

Think again.

Face paint, masks and toy blaster guns are banned at several movie theaters in the area, including AMC theaters, Cinemark theaters and theaters owned by the Theater Management Corporation.

AMC theaters will allow fans to bring lightsabers as long as they are put away and turned off during the movie.

Cinemark is not allowing lightsabers inside the theaters.

Regal Cinemas is not permitting masks, props, face paint, or weapons, including lightsabers and face-obscuring hoods.

[Slideshow: What Tri-State theaters are allowing and prohibiting for "Star Wars"]

Some diehard Star Wars fans said they're disappointed with the new costume policy but movie theater owners said these changes are being implemented for safety measures. Fans are welcome to wear costumes to the showings but the costumes cannot conceal their faces.

"We're not going to allow people to come with painted faces and face masks because we want to be able to see who's coming in," said Gary Goldman, Owner of the Theater Management Corporation. “We reserve the right to search backpacks or search anyone who is deemed suspicious by our security officers.”

Goldman says his theaters have taken extra measures to prepare for such a big movie opening, especially around the holidays. “We have staffed up and stocked up to get ready for crowds. We've also added additional security."

The reasons for the stricter dress code and heightened security is to increase safety, especially after the movie theater shootings in Colorado and Louisiana.

"It’s not just movie theaters, it could be anywhere today. Everyone has to pay attention to their surroundings and on the other hand we don't want to dampen the experience," Goldman said. 

Some diehard "Star Wars" fans say they’re disappointed that they can’t wear their full costumes to the theater for the premiere. Steve Langenbrunner is a lifelong Star Wars fan and says although the costume restrictions are unfortunate, he understands the reason behind it. 

Langenbrunner is a member of the Ohio Garrison of the 150th Legion, also known as the Ohio Star Wars Costuming Group. The group makes appearances throughout the country dressed as various characters from the movie series but for the upcoming premiere of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," their costumes will most likely have to be toned down a notch.

"I’ve heard a lot of members complain about not being able to have their blasters but to me, the blasters don't make the outfit, it's my armor and my love for the characters that make me a Stormtrooper," Langenbrunner told FOX19 NOW. Langenbrunner owns an exact replica of a 1977 Stormtrooper outfit. "It's made exactly the scale and everything as the one you see in the movie."

Langenbrunner won’t be able to wear his Stormtrooper outfit to the premiere, but he will wear it to a Toys for Tots event that takes place beforehand.

He says the best thing about dressing up in his Stormtrooper costume is the joy that it brings to children.

“The most fun part is seeing the kids and even adults get so excited to see a Stormtrooper, it’s an amazing feeling. I can’t wait to see the movie and the excitement that surrounds the premiere,” Langenbrunner.

Fans are asked to contact their local theater for questions about costumes.

Even though the movie doesn't hit theaters until Dec. 18, it has already set a record for ticket sales. 

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