Tragedy In Colo. Hits Movie Audiences Nationwide

The phrase "theater number 9" may soon be one of those added to our collective memory. That is where the shootings in Aurora, Colo., took place. It has some movie goers wondering about their safety in cities across the country.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Yesterday's shootings in Aurora, Colorado, took place in a movie theater, the kind of place people go to escape some of their concerns. Security around many theaters seemed to be strengthened last night, and some moviegoers said they were concerned about seeing a film this weekend.

CHRISTAL FOSTER: Actually, it was a little unnerving. And it did start to sway me this morning.

SIMON: Christal Foster and her family were in line to see "The Dark Knight Rises," at a movie theater in Culver City, California.

FOSTER: As I thought about it - we had planned earlier this week to come to see the premiere. And when I heard about it this morning, I did think about changing plans. But I know that it would disappoint the family.

SIMON: Twenty-three-year-old Jennifer Gates was also in line. She wants to be an actress, and says it never occurred to her to miss the movie.

JENNIFER GATES: But it was just sad to think about - just going to a movie excited, and then something tragic like this happens. It would just be one of the most unexpected places for it to happen.

SIMON: In Washington, D.C., security guards were checking bags yesterday as people went in to the theater. Daniel Bitman was among the moviegoers.

DANIEL BITMAN: It's extremely tragic because movie theater is like - it's like a pastime; it's like, where we go to relax. It's like, the one place we can escape to. So having like, an act of violence invade that like, space that we've created for like, enjoyment, is pretty sad.

SIMON: Twenty-year-old Ashley Arnett was also in line.

ASHLEY ARNETT: Yeah. I'm very shocked; like, I don't know what they're trying to prove. But you know, all I could do is, I pray for the families - and you know, for that guy, too, you know. So, yeah.

SIMON: And late yesterday, Christopher Nolan, the director of "The Dark Knight Rises," issued a written statement on behalf of the film's cast and crew. "I would not presume to know anything about the victims of the shooting but that they were there last night to watch a movie," he wrote. "The movie theater is my home, and the idea that someone would violate that innocent and hopeful place in such an unbearably savage way, is devastating to me."

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