NY police watch theaters; moviegoers unfazed - My9 New Jersey

NY police watch theaters; moviegoers unfazed

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ALEX KATZ,Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Moviegoers in New York City were deeply saddened but unfazed Friday by the news of a mass shooting at a Colorado theater as they turned out by the thousands to see the premiere of the latest Batman film.

Theaters were flooded with patrons and Batman enthusiasts eager to see "The Dark Knight Rises."

In the city and suburbs, police provided extra coverage at theaters where the movie was playing.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg cited the Aurora, Colo., tragedy to bolster his longtime argument for stricter gun control.

"You know, soothing words are nice, but maybe it's time that the two people who want to be president of the United States stand up and tell us what they are going to do about it, because this is obviously a problem across the country," Bloomberg said on his weekly radio show, pressing President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

Bloomberg echoed his remarks in an interview taped later Friday for the "CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley," adding that he felt Congress had been "cowed" by gun-rights advocates.

The New York City Police Department was posting officers at about 40 theaters around the city that are showing the Batman film. The increased security was a precaution against potential copycat shooters, and was also meant to reassure moviegoers.

"We're doing this to raise the comfort level," Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said. "We'd certainly encourage everybody to go about their business."

On Long Island, Nassau County officials said officers, including canine units and emergency services personnel and the special operations unit, would be deployed at theaters showing the film. Suffolk County police planned to increase patrols near theaters as a precaution, a spokeswoman said.

At the AMC theater in Times Square, two officers were stationed outside the entrance Friday morning.

"Just seems like another day at the movies," said Jimmie Baker, 40, of Harlem, who waited about three hours for the 12:50 p.m. showing of the "Dark Knight."

Baker said the Colorado tragedy did not sway his decision to see the film. "I just felt sorry for the people who had to go through this."

Andrew Bross, 22, of Livingston, N.J., returned Friday to watch the film for the second time in 12 hours. "I go to the movies every week. I'm going to still keep going. I'm not going to let it stop me one bit," he said.


Associated Press Writers Tom Hays in New York City and Frank Eltman, in Garden City, N.Y., contributed to this report.


Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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