Recent attacks, 'Straight Outta Compton' prompt increased security at theaters
WASHINGTON -- The film "Straight Outta Compton" is expected to be one of the biggest blockbusters of the summer. But this weekend, some moviegoers could see increased police patrols at theaters.
It is due to the recent theater attacks across the country and the possibility of gang activity based on the movie's genre.
Two marked police cars are sitting around the corner from the movie theater entrance at Mazza Gallerie in Northwest D.C. This is just one of several AMC Theatres across the country showing the "Straight Outta Compton."
The opening is just one of several films that have renewed dialogue about movies theater security.
"It makes me a little worried to know that there is reason for us to have to be afraid of something for them to have to step up security measures," said one person we spoke with near the theater.
"I hope it's a good movie and I hope people enjoy it, but I do think that the recent happenings in different movie theaters across the United States do warrant increased security in the area," said another moviegoer.
An AMC Theatres spokesperson said, "We are anticipating a great crowd for the opening of Straight Outta Compton, and similar to every weekend, we schedule and allocate staffing and resources accordingly based on projected attendance. We do not comment on our security measures publicly."
Unprecedented security was in place for the film's premiere in Los Angeles. Universal Studios did not say what prompted the additional security measures.
This comes in the aftermath of attacks at theaters in recent months, including one in Tennessee and Louisiana.
In Los Angeles, police said they will have increased patrols around its theaters and that enhanced security is vital.
"I think there are two reasons," said Los Angeles Police Department Commander Andrew Smith. "One is that we've seen attacks at theaters across the country … The second reason is a movie like this, sometimes it will bring out some folks that may have different gang factions that might want to go to the same theaters."
A Universal Pictures spokesperson said "Straight Outta Compton" has been seen by thousands of people at hundreds of screenings -- all without incident.
Unrelated to the film, several theaters here and in surrounding areas are reviewing their security measures and are making changes.