Joker - Trailer 2

Joker: US cinemas ban masks and toy weapons at screenings over fears of violence

FBI has gathered ‘disturbing and very specific’ discussions on the dark web regarding a ‘potential mass shooting’

Ellie Harrison
Friday 27 September 2019 16:50

Cinema chains in the US have banned masks, costumes and toy weapons at screenings of Joker following fears of potential violence.

Security concerns were raised earlier this week when families of victims of the 2012 mass shooting in Colorado, which occurred at a midnight screening of Batman film The Dark Knight Rises, wrote to Warner Bros condemning the gun violence in Joker and asking them to withdraw funding from politicians who oppose gun law reform.

AMC Theatres, America’s largest cinema chain with more than 600 venues, announced in a statement that they are “working with law enforcement” and while their standard policy allows audience members to wear costumes, they "do not permit masks, face paint or any object that conceals the face … [or] weapons or items that would make other guests feel uncomfortable”.

Landmark Theatres, meanwhile, said “no masks, painted faces or costumes will be permitted into our theatres”.

In response to the Colorado victims’ families, the studio said the film – which will not be showing at the Century Aurora and XD theatre where the shooting took place – was not “an endorsement of real-world violence of any kind”.

However a notice issued by US military officials at a base in Oklahoma suggested the FBI had collected intelligence of a “credible potential mass shooting” connected to the film after “disturbing and very specific” discussions on the dark web.

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