A History of Violence In Theaters

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Though The Dark Knight Rises mass shootings in Aurora, CO is certainly a virtually incomprehensible tragedy -- we thought we’d look at other incidents of violence inside theaters in recent years that beg the question, is it even safe to go to the movies?

Brutal Attacks:

Shutter Island (2010) Lancaster, CA – A man who asked a woman who was talking on her cell phone to silence it, was stabbed in the neck by one of her two male friends, who had left the theater and then returned with their weapon of choice, a meat thermometer. Others were also wounded when trying to come to his aid.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) Philadelphia, PA – After asking a family to be quiet, then throwing popcorn at them because they wouldn’t, a man shot the father in the arm.

The Signal (2008) Fulleton, CA – Two unrelated men were randomly stabbed by a stranger who then fled the theater immediately after the attacks. The film was paused during the drama, then, those who felt like staying for some reason, were immediately treated to a scene of a brutal stabbing.

Fatal Incidents:

Black Swan (2011) Riga, Latvia : During the closing credits a 27-year-old man shot and killed a 42-year-old during a conflict that began because the elder man was apparently eating his popcorn way too loudly.

The Watchmen (2009) Eugene, Oregon – At about the halfway point of the movie a 24-year-old at the back of the theater took out a gun, and shot himself in the head.

X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) Owings Mills, MD – About 20 minutes into the movie a 24-year-old mentally ill man stood up, ordered everyone to the ground, then fired four shots, killing the person closest to him, a 62-year-old man. He then walked into the lobby to announce what he had done.

Obviously these random incidents with few victims don’t compare in scale to this latest bout of in-theater violence, but the fact that this isn’t the first time people have been attacked and even killed at movies makes us wonder what needs to be done to keep this from ever happening again….
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