The aftermath of a deadly shooting at a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises has seen emotions run raw, as moviegers express sympathy for the 12 dead and 58 wounded. Now those wondering how to help the victims in Colorado have an answer: leave a donation at the movie theater.
Pacific Theatres and ArcLight Cinemas have placed donation boxes in front of 11 of their L.A. theaters, with proceeds going to the massacre’s victims and their families.
“We’ve seen patrons consistently coming up, making donations,” said an ArcLight Cinemas spokesperson. “The lobbies are quiet, but it’s nice to see the community rally around and support this during these difficult times.”
The donations are one among many changes theater chains around the country have made in the wake of the shootings. Pacific and ArcLight have said they would refund tickets for patrons who felt uncomfortable heading to the movies this weekend.
Other chains have amended or reemphasized policies after the shootings, in which 24-year-old suspect James Holmes allegedly wore a gas mask and referred to himself as the Joker. AMC theaters has banned face-concealing masks and fake weapons, and Regal reportedly planned to check purses and small bags brought by moviegoers.
Jessica Ghawi, a 24-year-old aspiring sports journalist who was killed has become a popular figure for those coming to grips with the killings.
Ghawi narrowly avoided a mass shooting in Toronto last month, and tweeted from the movie theater late Thursday night before the carnage began. Ghawi‘s brother has asked the world to focus on the massacre’s victims rather than its shooter.
“The outpouring of support for my family is overwhelming,” Jordan Ghawi wrote in a blog post. “Hearing from people from all of the world. My family thanks you. Let us continue to focus on the victims.”
Although Warner Bros. and other studios announced Friday they would not be reporting box office totals this weekend out of respect for the victims, projections see Dark Knight Rises opening at between $165 million-$170 million. That would make it either the second or third best opening weekend of all time, behind Avengers ($207.4 million) and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 ($169.2 million).