DORMONT (KDKA) — What if anything should be done to keep people safe in theaters after Wednesday’s incident in a Tennessee movie theater?
The National Association of Theater Owners released a statement saying in part that the safety of guests and employees is its highest priority.
At the Hollywood Theater in Dormont, people knew about the latest incident, but it doesn’t make them nervous about seeing a movie.
“These kind of random things are going to happen, and I don’t like it. It’s definitely upsetting, but I’m not going let it affect how I live my life,” said Rick Banas of Churchill.
Joseph Morrison, the operations manager at the Hollywood, said news of what happened in Tennessee definitely struck a chord with him.
“Is an event like this going to cause us to change how we do operate? Probably not,” said Morrison. “We’re not going to start to examine backpacks or install metal detectors. We’re comfortable with security procedures we have in place.”
Before the gunman in Tennessee, two people were killed and nine injured by a movie theater gunman in Louisiana. And three years ago in Colorado, 12 people were killed in a theater.
John Bruner is an active shooter violence expert, and he says: “We’ve had more active shooter incidents in the last three years than we had in the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s combined.”
And when it comes specifically to the movie theater shootings, he suspects there could be changes at theaters.
“The challenge in a movie theater is you’re in a dark room,” said Bruner. “So I wouldn’t be surprised if theater owners start to add more ambient lighting.”
Although a theater is a place where you want to drift off into the movie, Bruner recommends knowing your surroundings and paying attention to the exits when you arrive.
He says that in an active shooter situation if you can’t escape the building, hiding someplace safe can be another option, and a group fighting back against the gunman would be a very last resort.
He recommends the following training program: http://www.alicetraining.com