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AMC theaters has introduced a pre-movie clip warning patrons to be on the lookout for “suspicious characters.” No, not in the movies. In the theater. Quite what constitutes a “suspicious character” is anyone’s guess, but you can’t fault them for trying to get viewers out of Condition White ignorance (the very state of mind movies are designed to create). Then again, what’s going to happen when a movie-goer drops the dime on a fellow audience member? Immediate evacuation? Who’s going to investigate? And if SWATing is a problem – and it is – why not in the theater? Good idea or bad idea?

73 Responses to AMC Plays Active Shooter Warning Clip Before Films

  1. Ha, that still doesn’t count as “security.” Until they provide a cop to sit with me each time I go see a film, I’ll keep carrying and mind my own safety. Concealed means concealed.

  2. It is highly unlikely a patron of the theater would spot a criminal. This is a continued ignorant display of the production of false security and no different than the gun-free zone thought process. It is a SWAT in waiting.

    It would be completely acceptable to boycott the AMC chain. I’m in, are you?

    • If I walked into a theater and they essentially told me, “Watch out, any minute one of your fellow patrons might just jump up and blow your brains out,” I think I would just say, “I don’t need this, let’s just go to Red Box or catch something on Netflix” and leave. That’s not a boycott, that’s just my idea of a rational reaction.

  3. What’s their advice? Curl into a ball and cross your fingers?

    No thanks, I’ll carry a gun and be prepared to defend myself and my family.

  4. Haven’t they been doing this for a while now? I remember it, and I don’t go to movies that often.

    • Yep. This has playing at my local AMC for nearly 2 years now. Not surprising that a lady was mugged outside in the parking lot! By the same “suspicious character” no doubt.

  5. Old(er)? Check. White? Check? Khaki shorts? Check. Dang. Everyone is going to be looking at me at the movies.

      • Hey hey hey, stop that! Profiling is wrong, and racist!!

        But seriously, maybe it will nudge some fence sitters to engage in some critical thinking regarding personal defense.
        Can you imagine the howls of outrage if they run the exact same trailer, with the end line being “This public service message is brought to you by Smith & Wesson/Ruger/Springfield/Glock, etc”?

        • “Hey hey hey, stop that! Profiling is wrong, and racist!!”

          Racist? Hell no!

          They’ll consider it their ‘civic duty’.

          If your state’s gunbuster sign has force of law I sure hope everyone considers you a great guy/gal or else ‘sport swatting’ will be the anti’s new fun game.

  6. It’s like 9/11
    Coulda happened at any other time, on any other day.

    It’s a bright sunny day one moment, the next moment your suffering from di<khead that your di<kheaf neighbors needing jobs (your gov't led you to believe you ee're protected from).

  7. What I want to know before going to a movie in their theaters is whether (or not) they assert that they have the largest GFZ signs of all national theater chains. I demand a really effective defense.

    • ^ +
      I don’t even want to see TIME CRISIS (1, 2, 3, or 4) in the lobby [unless it’s the really good kind with the racking-slides, and ~ accurate alignment, and the coin slots aren’t all gummed up and crap]…

  8. Why would this even be necessary if the theaters are truly “Gun Free Zones”. Obvious that they cannot guarantee that so I will either stay out of them or carry concealed if I decide to go to a movie. These warning videos are a joke. Anyone that has seen the News already should know to watch for suspicious people. Not sure they would spot them anyway but anyone with half a brain should know to at least try to do that. Don’t need a video for that.

    • If you carry concealed in defiance of a theater’s policy you’re still vulnerable because for all any killer knows it’s still a gun free zone, therefore a choice target.

      I wish there were theaters that would start offering discounts to concealed carriers, just show a valid permit. That would help keep the mass murderers at bay.

    • Galtha58,

      I have heard gun-grabbers admit that gun-free zones do nothing to stop violent criminals from entering and harming people. They feel that there is nothing anyone can do to stop such an event so they have simply resigned themselves to whatever fate awaits.

      Of course gun-grabbers love to talk out of both sides of their mouths. While they believe gun-free zones will not stop violent criminals, they DO believe that such zones with stop “law abiding” citizens from carrying in those zones. And why do gun-grabbers like that? Because they think “law abiding” citizens could snap and become spree killers themselves … or return fire to a spree killer and harm innocent bystanders in the process. In their minds they have nothing to lose and everything to gain if they can stop “law abiding” citizens from being armed in such locations.

      • Uncommon_sense: I see the reasoning you apply here; makes sense. What’s the implication? Seems to me that it is the following: There are 2 groups of patrons for GFZs:
        – gun grabbers who fear lawful carriers; and,
        – everybody else

        I think that the gun grabbers are a small yet vocal minority. Everybody else is an overwhelming majority who have thought little about the matter and will say and do nothing to change matters.

        We have no hope of changing the gun-grammes’s sentiments with any economical strategy. So, forget about them.

        What can we do with everybody else?

        The most compelling strategy is to use the GFZ signs against the proprietors. Tell the general public that GFZs probably attract the very few crazies.

        In places where there are NO GFZ signs at all (e.g., my area of PA) then proprietors will have little incentive to erect the first GFZ signs. They will be aware that there isn’t much – if any – demand for GFZ signs; and, if they are the first to put them up they will tend to drive-off customers to competitors with no signs.

        Where there are some proprietors with signs and others without, driving business from the former to the latter will discourage the former. Some customers may go to management and complain about the GFZ signs. ‘I’d rather shop here than down-the-street; but I’ll have to consider moving my patronage because your signs make me uncomfortable.’

        The GFZ signs can be made into a laughing-stock. E.g., we can say that the sign at venue X didn’t work because it wasn’t large enough. Or, it wasn’t translated into Spanish, Arabic, or Farsi. Once the signs become a laughing stock their days are numbered. The joke will permeate teen culture; and these teens soon grow up to be the great purchasing demographic.

        The debate about the ineffective – possibly invitational – aspect of GFZ signs will serve to prompt discussion among the “other” people about the efficacy of legal carriers. We needn’t make the more difficult-to-argue explanation that the good-guy may stop the bad-guy; the extent to which this might be true will simply arise in one’s mind as a natural rationale arising out of removing GFZ signs.

      • ucommon,
        We have signs near some schools and along some streets designating them as Drug Free Zones and No Cruising Zones with small lettering underneath . I believe they allow violators to be hit with additional fines if apprehended by PD.

        Effective deterrents? No evidence that they are. Or that anyone charged is actually hit with enhancements. No reason to believe that Gun Free Zones won’t be similar.

        Just wondering – do GFZ’s carry enhancements if someone is apprehended?

  9. Anyone find a link to a clip of this video yet ? Can’t be that big of a deal if it is copyrighted can it ? If it is that good wouldn’t they want everyone to see it ?

  10. My “home” theatre outside Houston is *NOT* a GFZ… There are no 30.06 signs, and not even the legally impotent “gun buster” sign can be seen… I don’t recall ever seeing a 30.06 at a Texas theatre… any Texan here willing to name or shame one or two?

    • The AMC in San Antonio at the mall near the Alamo had 30.06 signs when I went last Summer. I believe the AMCs in the DFW area have 30.06 signs, but they may be too small to be enforceable. texas3006.com has more info and discussion on each one.

  11. Nothing wrong with condition white. That is what a movie is for. Also, if you read books, or browse the internet. At a gas station in the dark in a questionable neighborhood? Sure – condition white might not be very prudent, but everyone goes into condition white during certain times, even for long intervals, and there is nothing wrong with that.

    • Big difference between a crowded theater and being at home. The ONLY situation where “condition white” is appropriate or sorta safe is when you are at home, with the doors locked and other barriers and alarms in place. Even then, you might be a target.

      I’m hearing impaired, live in a rural area, in a part of the state with almost no violent crime of any kind. I lock my doors, day and night, and have other barriers. I carry my gun much of the time at home anyway and I never go out the door unarmed.

      Years ago, I had to shoot a man to save my life. I’d rather not have to do that again… but I will, if necessary. In order to reduce that possibility, I don’t go anywhere crowded with strangers, to movies, or to gun free zones… And I save “condition white” for when I’m sleeping. Then the dog’s got my back.

  12. My first response was “that’s kind of creepy”.
    I specifically carry for this reason. After the Aurora shooting I vowed never to be unarmed in public again. But this is just weird. Can you imagine how people will start looking at each other in the theater right after this? The lights are usually still bright during the ads. How uncomfortable is that going to be?
    There won’t be any seats in the back against the wall for the couples to make out now because everyone will go for those seats for tactical advantage. Sheesh!

  13. I can see it now. You want that couple behind to quit talking, report them a scary. What about the lady on the phone? The guy with the big cowboy Stetson? The kid kicking your seat?

    I see this as asking for trouble.

    • Nice if it worked, but the high school and college students I see at most theaters are reluctant to be assertive. Rude patrons blow them off. Have never seen PD called – even on some noisy drunks. I’ve learned to have my money cheerfully refunded.

  14. I bet most of the reason behind AMC doing this is it is simple “cover-your-ass” style liability protection.

  15. Is it followed up by the local police response time?

    “Oh and if you do notice / report a suspicious character, don’t worry, the police are only 20 minutes away, assuming anyone has the chance to dial 911. Enjoy the movie.”

  16. “AMC would like to remind it’s patrons, if you see something, say something. Not that we expect you to do much else other than hide or run, but… well… keep an eye out, we guess? Enjoy the film!”

  17. The safest practice is to stay out of movies! Not because of maybe being shot, but because it’s a great place to catch a cold, and many other unpleasant bugs.
    For what it cost for the family to go to a movie now days, you can just by the DVD, in BluRay, and watch it as often as you want!

  18. We should demand kevlar lined seatbacks and they carry adequate liability insurance since theaters have become a dangerous venue.

  19. I don’t go to the movies disarmed, they should be glad we still go at all. The dwell between theater release and release on DVD/Blueray/Rental/Netflix/Hulu/whatever is getting shorter and shorter. With the prices they charge for tickets much less for their over priced junk food, they are becoming ever less relevant.

  20. If this doesn’t piss me off that my home state doesn’t let me legally carry and most of these will be shown in a “Gun Free Zone” (false advertisement if you ask me!) I don’t know what else will….

  21. Back in the day as a college student, I visited Chicago’s South Side Nation of islam’s (aka Black Muslim) HQ on on a lark. Staff was a bit surprised to see a white guy show up, but very accommodating and gave me a tour.

    I was surprised by metal detectors in the entrance. Only time in a church, synagogue, or temple that I’ve seen them. Wonder if equipping movie theaters with [working or not] metal detectors would do more than a PSA.

      • Thanks, Ralph. Same here. I used to live on the South Side and would eat at a Muslim owned diner from time to time. Might be only white patron. Food and service were great plus inexpensive. Too poor to own a car at the time. The ‘Fruit of Islam’ guards (powerful-looking men immaculately dressed in dark suits wearing a fez) would always escort me to the bus stop and wait with me until the bus arrived. Looking back, I suspect it also telegraphed to the bus driver and riders, “Don’t screw with him”.

  22. I can wait for the good movies to come to the well protected, secure, comfortable arenas called my home. They start advertising for blockbusters a year in advance in theaters. But the DVD usually push other DVD ‘s or streaming shows and films that are about to be released. My wife makes the best popcorn in two states, coca cola is always at my house as is a box of goobers or a Goodbar. my bride likes gummy bears. All are nickels and dimes at Albertsons……and I can pause it when the pizza guy comes. By the way. Don’t eat hot dogs at movies.
    Hot dogs are for games, don’t get me started on those.

  23. “We won’t let you protect yourself, and we refuse to do anything even half-assed to substitute for it; good luck thanks for the money!”

  24. Wayne La Pierre of the NRA and the terrorist propaganda website TTAG replied this is a violation of Second Amendment Rights! All Americans should be able to buy whatever they want regarding firearms, such as movie theater shooters, homegrown terrorists, racist white supremacists…

    Seeing as I have no need for a firearm, and would never join a terrorist organization like the NRA or TTAG, the answer would be never.

    Wonder why places like Europe, Australia, Japan or Canada doesn’t have a problem with “law abiding” gun-terrorists going on rampages.

    If only these gun-nuts knew they’re precious weapons were more likely to kill them then stop one of their own terrorist nuts from going.

    I would suggest you gun-nut terrorists discuss your problems with a local therapist, since they can help you understand that replying to a satirical comment designed to ridicule you for your stupidity only identifies you as a target. I obviously write comments for my entertainment, but the opinions of targets certainly do nothing as far as agitating or insulting me, only amusing me…

    Have fun with the other delusional gunnuts who stalk my comments, as with them I simply mute or ignore thier account after I’ve grown tired of ridiculing you again for your stupidity by replying to my comments. They how support groups here everyday so fell free to introduce yourself! So long.

    Amazing how the mentally ill gun-nuts can consider harassment of others to be perfectly OK, while members of the TTAG Racist Gunnut Pedophile Klan report free speech for TOS violations. Delusional disorder is a powerful mental illness….

    • Finally starting to think you and Kaiser Wilhelm below are the same person, someone has way too much free time.

    • All Americans should be able to buy whatever they want regarding firearms, such as movie theater shooters, homegrown terrorists, racist white supremacists…

      Well, yes. That’s good advice. Never take a fist to a gun fight. When one needs to protect themselves and their loved ones from deranged shooters, thugs, and terrorists, it is best to have equal or greater fire power. Kinda like how our police and military arm themselves against these same threats.

      Wonder why places like Europe, Australia, Japan or Canada doesn’t have a problem with “law abiding” gun-terrorists going on rampages.

      Your wonder is merely confusion. You are thinking of and talking of people that do not exist. “Law abiding” people and gun-terrorists going on rampages are two different groups, the latter being a very tiny portion of the human race. We don’t have a problem with “law abiding” gun owners going on rampages in the U.S. Neither do other countries. Europe, Australia, Japan and Canada do have criminals and terrorists going on rampages, however. They use all sorts of weapons to do so, including guns. You haven’t done your homework or are intentionally lying. The crime rate in most countries that have taken guns from the “law abiding” are higher than ours … because those law abiding are now defenseless and often even jailed when they do defend themselves.

      If only these gun-nuts knew they’re precious weapons were more likely to kill them then stop one of their own terrorist nuts from going.

      Your confusion is showing again. It must be bad as you did not complete your sentence. You also are attempting to equate “law abiding” gun owners as nuts, and that we are terrorists. A typical dishonest tactic of a statist disarmist. You also state a faulty premise that our weapons are more likely to kill us than protect us. Accidental firearm deaths are down around 600 per year. Defensive gun use by law abiding citizens is in the 100s of thousands each year.

      I obviously write comments for my entertainment, but the opinions of targets certainly do nothing as far as agitating or insulting me, only amusing me…

      So you are admitting you are a troll. How nice.

      Amazing how the mentally ill gun-nuts can consider harassment of others to be perfectly OK, while members of the TTAG Racist Gunnut Pedophile Klan report free speech for TOS violations. Delusional disorder is a powerful mental illness….

      Yet your self-admitted trolling comments placed here are still allowed and showing, while gun-grabber sites delete any comments in support of the 2nd Amendment. Right. Got it. Think you better look into your own delusions … they are very powerful.

  25. And gun-nuts still would’nt be able to stop one of their fruity own from causing trouble.

    What is the most pro-terrorist web site on the Internet….? Can you spell, TTAG?

    • hey lunchmeat brain ,idiots like you are the reason people with brains arent sitting in youre little utopia boxes ,,,, im worried about the nuts on pills and dope ,and the braindead victims like yourself

    • I don’t understand why trolls just use the same name to post. I mean, if your first message didn’t get deleted, chances are your second one isn’t going to either.

      • They need to impress us with their vast numbers. 3 is 300% more than 1.

        It’s curious why we don’t get feedback as to the point someone made:
        – trolls are allowed to post and their posts are preserved here in TTAG;
        – no pro-gun argument survives for more than a few minutes on any gun-control site.

  26. Not any creepier than the TSA’s See Something Say Something campaign.

    What is truly sad is that all these people who come up with these kinds of things….. 1984 by George Orwell was supposed to be a warning, not a guide book.

  27. Been like that for a long time. I haven’t gone to AMC ever since a new mom+pop place opened up in my area. Great prices compared to anywhere else, plus no silly “ban guns” signs to be seen anywhere.

  28. Such vague and unsupported calls to paranoia only serve to increase levels of said paranoia.
    I give you no details, no specifics, no criteria, certainly no tools to assist you but WATCH OUT BECAUSE YOU’RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!!!!!
    The only net positive of such a campaign is to create an atmosphere and population welcoming of greater state control and reduced liberty.

    • Of course these warnings might be a cunning campaign to increase entertainment value and attendance.

      Sort of like the D-box motion seats at one neighborhood multiplex. Some graybeards may recall Smell-o-Vision and the Tingler that sent mild vibrations into seats.

      Then there was one – Psycho I believe, that had a “doctor and nurse” in one Chicago theater lobby to treat patrons that succumbed to the movie’s terror.

      Now the louts using laser pointers will create fear, rather than annoyance.

  29. “For the courtesy of the other patrons, please only pee in your own seat as you wait for the madman to kill you.”

    “If you see something, scream something.”

    I stopped going to movie theaters when I noticed the influx of patrons who looked like they probably carried head lice.

  30. I hardly ever go to the movies, but when I do, it’s never to an AMC theater. There’s the aforementioned “no firearms” policy, but they’re also usually more ghetto and run-down than the other theaters around me. So, I’d avoid them no matter what.

  31. If a person erroneously identifies a “suspicious character” and causes a panicked stampede for the exits, is that like yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater?

  32. I go to theaters without gun buster signs on the doors. Even if the have a “rules” poster inside with 30 something lines and include ‘no weapons’ on this obscure poster, it does not prevent legal conceal carry in the theater. The posters are likely just to calm the MDA wackadoos.
    My wife and I both carry into theaters. Concealed means concealed 🙂
    The lack of a gun buster sign on the doors is actually a deterrent to those bent on making headline news. They prefer places that assure a disarmed mass of targets.

    • Maybe. But I suspect the signs and film clip are intended to provide theaters with air cover that they made a good faith effort when they get sued for negligence.

      Follow the money. A theater shooting becomes a ‘cleanup in aisle 13’ problem. Sued for negligence becomes a ‘potential big settlement problem’. I suspect theater chain and insurance company risk management folks decided on this approach.

      • I wonder if we could get some lawyers to comment as to the relative risks and benefits of various strategies for:
        – insured proprietors; and,
        – insuring underwriters.

        These are two quite distinct albeit inter-related decision makers. The underwriters are concerned with eventual payouts. The proprietors are worried about current premium costs (that must be paid out of current profits whether there is an attack or not), public impressions of safety at their venues vs. competitors; and, residual liability of management time and payouts if they have to defend a suit.

        We should AVOID PRESUMING the right answers when we don’t really understand the right QUESTIONS.

        Do GFZ signs increase or decrease liability? Do force-of-law signs increase/decrease liability? Do signs create a duty to enforce the rule using some level of screening for metal? How much screening will be found to be adequate?

        Lawyers might offer a theory of greater/lesser liability that we could use to our advantage. E.g., that a venue is better off with an “Enter at your own risk” sign vs. a sign that promises a false hope that there will be no guns in the venue. A venue is better off with big histrionic signs vs. inconspicuous signs; such that we can profit by ridiculing the big signs.

        Moreover, we might find that some States’ laws work better for us than other States’ laws. An obvious example is the no-force-of-law signs. We can ridicule the signs while ignoring them.

        The plaintiff bar may be a good ally. These guys have a lot of clout with State legislatures. If we could get them to sponsor changes in the law that would make for greater liability to erect a sign without maintaining effective screening measures then that raises the cost of erecting signs. The underwriters raise the premiums if you have signs but no monitoring; maintain monitoring at great expense, or remove the signs.

  33. This reminds me of an original Twilight Zone episode. In a darkened theater, just about everybody looks suspicious.

    • The one where the aliens disrupted the electricity and radio signals and such randomly a few times, then waited for all the neighborhood folks to start accusing each other of all kinds of conspiratorial stuff?

  34. “Please place your cell phones on silent and perform a discrete press check”.

    click, tick, revolver unlatched, pop as safety’s are reselected…

    “Enjoy the movie”

  35. Well, if the movie is boring, you can SWAT the movie theater and tell them the guy you do not like is threatening the audience with a gun and just killed someone. Seems like SWATing is endorsed by anti gun groups so it must not be illegal. Maybe we could SWAT some anti gun headquarters while we are at it?

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