Tampa Movie Theaters To Beef Up Security This Weekend
Following the mass shooting during the midnight premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora, Colo., several local movie theaters have requested additional security from law enforcement.
According to Tampa Police Department (TPD) Chief Jane Castor, patrols will be increased around Tampa movie theaters in an “abundance of caution.” TPD also says that it has no intelligence of any threats to moviegoers this weekend.
The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) also says that they have no intelligence of any known threats, but Sheriff Chris Nocco has ordered all PCSO road patrols to do extra sweeps near the county’s movie theaters, including the Cobb Theaters Grove 16, located off S.R. 54 in Wesley Chapel. The Cobb Cinebistro will have extra security detail for the weekend.
Muvico Theaters Chief Operating Officer James Herd says that the Muvico Starlight 20 in New Tampa off Bruce B. Downs Blvd. has reviewed its safety regulations with its staff and that safety is the theater’s main priority. The theater was already expecting a large turnout this weekend for the “The Dark Knight Rises” premiere.
“We want to preserve the movie-going experience,” he says. “It’s supposed to be about escapism.”
TPD says that most traditional theaters in the Tampa area hire off-duty police officers to be on scene for evening showings, but the department has received requests from several theaters for daytime patrols, as well. TPD says that officers on patrol will soon begin training to respond to shootings in crowded areas, such as shopping malls and schools to help prevent tragedies like the theater shooting in Colorado.