Theaters ban masks at 'Joker' screenings in response to security concerns
© Warner Bros./YouTube

Several movie theaters planning to screen the upcoming "Joker" movie have announced or reaffirmed bans on masks as a security measure.

Reuters reported Thursday that the Landmark theater chain in California announced a total ban on masks, costumes and face paint of any type ahead of the film's Oct. 4 release.

ADVERTISEMENT

AMC Theatres, one of the largest movie theater chains in the country, also issued a statement reaffirming a long-standing ban on masks and face paint in its theaters, but did not go as far as banning costumes.

“Guests are welcome to come dressed in costume, but we do not permit masks, face paint or any object that conceals the face,” AMC said, according to Reuters.

Security has been tightened at movie theaters around the country following the 2012 mass shooting at a screening of "The Dark Knight Rises," also part of DC Comics's "Batman" franchise, at a theater in Aurora, Colo., which killed 12 people and wounded 70 others.

The upcoming "Joker" movie, directed by Todd Phillips and starring Joaquin Phoenix, depicts the violent rise of Batman's arch nemesis following a descent into madness as a result of physical and emotional traumas. Warner Bros. has stressed that the film does not promote violence.

“Our company has a long history of donating to victims of violence, including Aurora, and in recent weeks, our parent company joined other business leaders to call on policymakers to enact bipartisan legislation to address this epidemic,” the company said.

The Los Angeles Police Department told Reuters in a statement that it was aware of the historical significance surrounding the franchise, and had heard of no specific threats to L.A.-area theaters.

“While there are no credible threats in the Los Angeles area, the department will maintain high visibility around movie theaters when it opens," the department said.