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News of Colorado shooting doesn't deter moviegoers in Oklahoma City

Despite news of a shooting during the midnight premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises” at a theater in Aurora, Colo., that didn't deter many moviegoers in Oklahoma City from going to see what some expected to be the summer's biggest blockbuster.
by Phillip O'Connor Published: July 20, 2012
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No additional security was present outside of Harkins Bricktown Cinemas during Friday's afternoon showings of “The Dark Knight Rises,” despite news of a shooting during the midnight premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises” at a theater in Aurora, Colo. All show times at Harkins ran as previously scheduled.


Most moviegoers were aware of the shooting that killed at least 12 and injured at 58 others, but that didn't deter them from going to see what some expected to be the summer's biggest blockbuster.

Aurora police identified the shooting suspect as 24-year-old James Holmes.

“It's probably an isolated incident,” said Gareth Harrier, who saw “The Dark Knight Rises” at Harkins. “You can't go through life trying to avoid crazy people; you never know when you're going to encounter them.”

Harrier, who is from Fort Worth, Texas, was in Oklahoma City for a wedding this weekend. Harrier said he discussed the shooting with a friend before going to the theater but never considered changing his plans.

Some spontaneous moviegoers also decided in favor of seeing the film. Barbara Dalton, from Jenks, decided to take her son, Bryan Davis, 15, to the movie before driving back home. Her son had been attending a summer camp near Canton Lake.

Dalton spoke about the shooting with her son beforehand, but both decided there was nothing to fear.

“It's not going to stop me from going to the movies, but it's still tragic,” Dalton said. “It's horrible.”

Managers at both Harkins and Cinemark Tinseltown in northeast Oklahoma City declined to comment on how the shooting might affect security at their theaters. Calls to both of their corporate offices were not immediately returned.

‘Soft targets'

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by Phillip O'Connor
Enterprise Editor
O'Connor joined the Oklahoman staff in June, 2012 after working at The Kansas City Star and St. Louis Post-Dispatch for a combined 28 years. O'Connor, an Oklahoma City resident, is a graduate of Kansas State University. He has written frequently...
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