HK cinemas ban Batman costumes

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 22 July, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 22 July, 2012, 12:00am


AMC Cinemas in Hong Kong has banned film-goers from wearing costumes or carrying replica weapons in the wake of the gun rampage at a Batman movie premiere in the United States which left 12 people dead and 58 injured.

The Hong Kong arm of AMC Cinemas said screening schedules for The Dark Knight Rises would not change, but that people 'in costumes that make other guests uncomfortable, such as wearing face-covering masks or carrying replica weapons, will not be allowed inside our buildings'.

AMC and the city's biggest cinema operator, UA, also said they would offer refunds to anyone who had bought a ticket but did not want to see the movie in the light of events in Aurora, Colorado. A spokesman for the AMC cinema at Pacific Place in Admiralty said that the moves were not designed to deter anyone from going. The Dark Knight Rises opened in Hong Kong on Thursday night. There were 14 screenings yesterday and there will be 18 today.

'People are still coming as usual. There's been no one asking for their tickets to be reimbursed and we have been very busy,' the spokesman said.

A spokesman for UA cinemas in Hong Kong also said their showings of the Batman film would run as scheduled, but that tickets could be refunded. Police and government spokesmen have sought to reassure cinema-goers by pointing out that the possession of firearms is prohibited in Hong Kong, unlike in the US.

Film-goers at the AMC cinema in Pacific Place, Admiralty, said the tragedy had not put them off. Anthony Yip, 48, was looking forward to watching the film last night.

'It's very sad what happened in the US, but there's no reason to be worried here,' he said. 'In the US, they can get their hands on these weapons. It's crazy over there. Nothing like this would ever happen in Hong Kong.'

On Friday a man wearing a gas mask and body armour threw tear-gas canisters at movie-goers and then fired on the crowd inside a cinema near Denver.

In New York, police commissioner Raymond Kelly said the suspect, 24-year-old James Holmes, had dyed his hair red and shouted that he was the Joker, Batman's nemesis.

Police were trying yesterday to enter Holmes' flat, which was rigged with explosives. They disarmed a trip wire and one explosive device set up to kill anyone opening the door, but there were other devices which needed to be disarmed.