'The Dark Knight Rises' fans flock to theaters despite Colorado theater shooting

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Published July 21, 2012

| FoxNews.com

Despite the tragic shooting at a midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" the previous evening, theaters were packed with excited, determined fans on Friday.

The mood at the AMC Century City in Los Angeles was upbeat, with fans lining up and each screening packed to the capacity.

"I changed my ticket to come and see it during the day instead of the night," one female moviegoer told FoxNews.com. "But nothing was going to stop me coming."
 
In the line and outside the theater, the Aurora tragedy, where at least 12 died and scores were wounded when a lone gunman opened fire, was the topic of conversation.

"Words cannot express the horror that I feel. I cannot begin to truly understand the pain and grief of the victims and their loved ones, but my heart goes out to them," actor Christian Bale said in a statement. 

"It's very sad. But my wife and I planned this film weeks ago. We thought about not coming, but then figured that was silly and letting a crazy person win," one fan told FoxNews.com.

And while it was all hustle and bustle outside, there was a nervous energy inside the dark theater.

The violent trailer for the forthcoming black comedy "Seven Psychopaths" brought about a few awkward gasps, with one viewer saying that it seemed "a bit inappropriate." On the opposite end of the spectrum, the promotion for the upcoming "Man of Steel" drew claps and cheers.

But once "The Dark Knight Rises" commenced, even with its jaw-dropping opening, any lurking concerns fell away.

At the AMC in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., the mood was also positive as scores of people who had bought tickets hours in advance lined up for the film. A guest services representative said nobody had requested an exchange or refund from a pre-purchased ticket.

"I still want to see it. I'm still here. People have been shot in the theaters before it doesn't exactly relate to the film, 18-year-old Justin Sawyer said while Alex Ortega, also 18, said the Colorado tragedy is "an instance of being in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Mann's 8 Theater in Grand Rapids, Minn., which has a 150-seat capacity theater, was about two-thirds full. The age ranged between teens and twenties. 

The theater also had no visible means of elevated security. 

"I wasn't scared to come out tonight," Brian Trombley said. "I always say, 'If it's my time, it's my time.' I'm not going to worry about it. But it was an awful thing.'"

"He's sickÔÇôvery sick," Sarah Trombley, Brian's wife said referring to 24-year-old James Holmes, the suspect in the deadly attack. 

Emily Coomer, who arrived to Mann's 8 with four of her girlfriends, had some concerns about attending the film. "But I guess that I wasn't totally worried. Just because it was another state, and that doesn't mean that it's going to happen again," she said. 

Ed Damiai led a group of about 15 teen boys from a summer engineering camp had no qualms about bringing his troop to see the movie. 

"We've always seen that kind of stuff -- we've seen that stuff happen every five, six, seven years in our country," Damiai said. 

"There's people who have some unstable mental issues," he said. "We haven't heard the details -- if it's mental illness or if he wanted to grab some publicity, or what the deal is. But it's said that it happened. It's tragic." 

At the Regal Union Square Stadium 14 in New York City on a rainy Friday night, most of the moviegoers were aware of the recent horrible events, but they said that didn't stop them from coming to see the show.

"The shootings didn't scare me. There's crazy people everywhere," Reginald Diaz said as he exited the theater.

A few extra NYPD officers were outside the theater's entrance, and one ticket holder said he saw them doing bag inspections.

"The increased security was a great idea. No one looked too nervous in the theater," Diaz said.

"Nobody would have come to the theater if there weren't tons of cops here," Yamio Rosario said.

There was also police presence outside New York City's AMC Empire theater. Inside, there were quite a few empty seats despite the showing being sold out, but fans seemed genuinely excited to see the film.

A 27-year-old fan "had been waiting for over a year to see the movie" and said nothing was going to stop him. 

Danielle Jones-Wesley, Megan Vazquez, and Shendy Hershfield contributed to this report.

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http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2012/07/21/dark-knight-rises-fans-flock-to-theaters-despite-colorado-theater-shooting/