Security ramps up before debut of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Dec. 16) – A big box office weekend is coming up. The seventh 'Star Wars' film called 'The Force Awakens' opens in theaters Thursday evening.

“Oh I’m a very big fan,” said Lynn West, who bought her tickets to the movie showing at the IMAX at the Indiana State Museum. “I looked at earlier times and they were sold out-- I mean even in the middle of the night they were full!”

The new movie is playing at many of the theaters in the Indianapolis area, some of which already have sold out showings.

“Without giving out too much information, we’ve sold a lot, a lot, a lot of tickets,” said Craig Mince, theater manager at the museum. "We’ve honestly never seen sales like this. We’ve sold out for some shows. We’ve added early morning shows to accommodate for the capacity.”

At the Georgetown 14 Digital Cinemas, they’re also ready for the crowds to show up.

“Bottom line is, we have a 7, 7:30, 8, 8:30, 9 and 9:45,” said J. Leigh Friedman, general manager of the Georgetown 14 Digital Cinemas along Lafayette Road. “I think we’re going to get people showing up between 5 and 6 probably.”

But in light of recent mass shootings around the country, theaters say, dressing up is OK, to a point.  Georgetown theater welcomes the costumes and accessories.

“Secuirty will be checking large bags,” said Friedman. “Other than thatm it you want to come fully dressed with a light sabor, or whatever fictional weapons, you’re welcome to do that.”

Other theater groups like AMC, Regal and IMAX have restictions.

“Leave the blasters at home,” said Mince. “We want everybody to have a good and safe environment. So we want to make sure everybody is comfortable.”

Some theater groups also will be banning the use of masks to ensure faces are not obstructed from security cameras. Regardless, security will be heightened.

“They will check bags, they will check helmets or masks,” said Friedman. “And it something looks suspicious, they will make sure.”

And that’s a comfort to movie-going Star Wars fans.

“I know that they have policies now at most theaters,” said West. “You don’t have to be so scared that you don’t do things.”

With the anticipated popularity of the movie, tickets are still available for opening night at select theaters. The best bet, theater managers say, is to purchase tickets ahead of time online.

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