Landmark Theaters are not allowing fans to wear masks or costumes when they attend screenings of Joker.
The movie chain, which operates more than 50 theaters across the country, told Reuters the ban would also cover painted faces much like the titular character, played by Joaquin Phoenix, wears in the movie.
“I want customers to be comfortable in their surroundings,” Landmark CEO Ted Mundorff told the Hollywood Reporter.
AMC, the country’s largest movie chain, said that it has banned masks, face painting, or face-coverings since 2012 following the deadly mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado, at a screening of the Batman film The Dark Knight Rises.
“There have been some guest inquiries surrounding next week’s Joker screenings, and what we’re doing as a company to ensure staff and guest safety, which is at all times our primary concern,” an Alamo spokesperson explained in a written statement.
“We engage with local law enforcement on an ongoing basis about security at our theaters, and while we’re unaware of any specific threat or concern, we will have additional security personnel present at each location for the opening weekend for the comfort of our staff and guests.
Additionally, cosplaying will be allowed, however, guests in costume are always subject to search at the discretion of theater staff at any time, and may be asked to leave for any reason.”
A Warner Bros. spokesperson told BuzzFeed News, “Make no mistake: neither the fictional character Joker nor the film, is an endorsement of real-world violence of any kind. It is not the intention of the film, the filmmakers or the studio to hold this character up as a hero.”
Critics like the movie and it won the top prize at the Venice Film Festival.
Director Todd Phillips told the Wrap that he did not make the film to glorify violence or “to push buttons.”
He also believed much of the concern or outrage about the film had been manufactured by the “far left.”
“I think it’s because outrage is a commodity. I think it’s something that has been a commodity for a while,” he said. “What’s outstanding to me in this discourse in this movie is how easily the far left can sound like the far right when it suits their agenda. It’s really been eye-opening for me.”
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