10:54am PT by Graeme McMillan
Lightsabers, Masks Banned from Select 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Screenings
Bad news for any budding Jedi out there: those showing up to Star Wars: The Force Awakens screenings at a certain theater chain won't be able to bring their most prized possessions — lightsabers.
The ban on lightsabers was revealed by Cinemark via posters advertising the December release; in small print below information about pre-sale for The Force Awakens is the legend, "Star Wars costumes are welcome. However, no face coverings, face paint or simulated weapons (including lightsabers/blasters) will be allowed in the building."
Fellow theater chain AMC will be enacting a similar, though more lenient, policy.
AMC's website tells customers, "AMC does not permit weapons or items that would make other guests feel uncomfortable or detract from the movie-going experience. Guests are welcome to come dressed in costume, but we do not permit masks. In short, bring your lightsaber, turn it off during the movie, and leave the blaster and Darth Vader mask at home."
Tough luck for those hoping to channel Darths Vader or Maul, never mind new bad guy Kylo Ren, as they enjoy J.J. Abrams' contribution to the galactic movie franchise. But the restrictions highlight an increased awareness of security issues in theaters following shootings at screenings of The Dark Knight Rises in 2012 and this summer's Trainwreck.
Following the 2012 shootings, both Regal and AMC restricted masks and fake weapons as part of attendee cosplay, as well as increasing the amount of bag checks as part of regular security. This summer's Trainwreck shooting reignited discussion about strengthening theater security, including discussion of whether or not metal detectors should be installed in theaters to reduce the likelihood of such an event happening again.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens Dec. 18.