Despite shooting in Aurora, Colorado, Tampa moviegoers head to theaters

TAMPA - A shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, is a resounding reminder of how quickly a night of fun can turn into tragedy. 

But that reminder isn't stop moviegoers in the Tampa Bay area from heading to the much anticipated Friday showings of "Dark Knight Rises", the latest edition in the Batman saga.

"Nothing was going to make me miss this," said Brent Lorentson.  "I had to work last night.  That's the only reason I didn't see it last night."

Linda Murphey mirrored that sentiment as she and her grandchildren headed into the theater. 

"You can't live your life like that when these things happen.  If you do, they win."

Murphey and her family had advance day tickets and had no reservations about the safety inside the movie.

Tampa Police said they have no intelligence of a similar attack planned but are upping patrols around Tampa theaters tonight and over the weekend.

Chief Jane Castor said all traditional movie theaters in the city already hire off duty Tampa Police officers in the evening hours.  Since the Colorado tragedy, some theaters have contacted the department to hire day time off duty officers as well, Castor added.

Some theaters even want off duty officers to come inside and take a seat.  It is a tactic some ticket holders believe is unreasonable.

"You can't have an officer in every movie theater," said Angel Ortiz, who came to see the latest Batman installment alone.

Ortiz said the massacre just serves as a reminder that violence can happen anywhere at any time.

"You are not even safe in your own house. There are a lot of sick people out there," he explained.

As for Bernard Hudson,  he was shocked to hear the news as he drove to the movies from work.  He hadn't even heard about the mass shooting until we told him.

"The world we live in, you live life and I guess some people just don't respect it," said Hudson.

Still, the tragedy did have one parent changing his plans.  Patrick Horrell and his young daughter said the tragedy did impact what showing they chose at the Muvico Theater in Ybor.

"I wouldn't see it at night," said Horrell, who was clad in a Batman shirt.  "That is why we are coming at like 6 o'clock and then as soon as we see it we are going to leave."

Tampa Police also plans to offer active shooter training to Tampa movie theaters in the near future.

The department conducts active shooter training for shopping malls, large employers, schools and other facilities.

The training teaches people how to respond if a gunman attacks.

More:  Some theaters increase security after shooting - http://wfts.tv/OFnzZg .

Print this article Back to Top

Comments