SA movie theater company beefs up security

Santikos Theaters will increase police presence this weekend after Colorado shooting

SAN ANTONIO - In the wake of Friday morning’s shooting in Colorado, security at movie theaters became an issue of concern.

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In the end, the fault lies only with the alleged shooter, James Holmes, 24, after police said he killed a dozen and wounded nearly 60 people in his pre-dawn rampage.

But movie theaters do have a responsibility to protect their customers -- a fact Santikos Theaters, a San Antonio-based company, readily acknowledges.

“It went from celebrating the fandom of the Dark Knight to making sure we were taking the proper precautions to protect the security of our guests,” said Chris Prichard, assistant director of operations for Santikos Theaters.

The company began preparing for the last installment of the Batman series to premiere months ago, anticipating large crowds and hiring extra off-duty police officers for the event, Prichard said.

"They roam the auditoriums, and they station themselves generally in the lobby, and out front,” said Prichard.

The point is to be proactive in preventing these kinds of crimes by presenting a strong show of force, Prichard said.

Security guards employed directly by Santikos -- as well as general staff members -- were given an extra security briefing at Santikos theaters across the city Friday morning.

Movie theaters are public places, however -- no different from a mall or restaurant.

“Well, we do everything we can, and then we probably do a little bit more,” said Prichard, when asked if there was only so much the company could do in terms of security.

Prichard said the company has reached out to San Antonio police to possibly employ more off-duty officers this weekend.


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