Theaters sometimes put together promotional events for big movie releases. It helps give them an edge over competing theaters, helping to draw a crowd in to see movies at their location. A Missouri theater took the promotion a little too far, though.
According to the Associated Press, the Goodrich Capital 8 Theaters in Jefferson City hired actors to perform at the theater before an opening night screening of “Iron Man 3.” Some appeared in the theaters dressed as police officers, while another was in an Iron Man costume. Things got a little hectic when yet another actor showed up wearing what looked like body armor, carrying a fake rifle. The theater says those with guns were dressed as S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives.
Some customers, remembering the “Dark Knight Rises” theater shooting in Colorado, called 911 immediately. Police responded, initially believing they were called to an emergency situation. Captain Doug Shormaker says the whole thing was a bad idea, adding, “There’s really no good that can come of this.” He also says he hopes this sort of situation won’t happen again.
The theater addressed the incident May 10 with a statement, saying, “We apologize and are sympathetic to those who felt they were in harm’s way with our character promotion for ‘Iron Man 3.’ We didn’t clearly tell our customers and some people didn’t realize it was for entertainment purposes only.” They also say steps are being taken to make sure it doesn’t happen again.