NJ movie theaters stepping up security for ‘Star Wars’
Following the recent shootings in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif., the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness is reportedly planning to step up security at movie theaters showing the new Star Wars film, “The Force Awakens,” starting this Friday.
“I can’t get into operational specifics but the public should know that all measures and law enforcement and Homeland Security assets throughout the state are poised,” said Chris Rodriguez, director of the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness.
He stressed “we are taking the highest security measures, in and around a variety of large public gathering areas.”
When asked if Homeland Security officials have been in contact with any specific theater chains, Rodriguez said “my office has extensive outreach to locations where the public convenes, that includes schools, malls, theaters.”
He also said security efforts are ongoing and happening all the time.
“The events around the world and in the United States show us that attacks can take place everywhere, so we are constantly vigilant,” he said.
He said that so far there have not been any specific, credible threats made in conjunction with the opening of the film.
“The public should feel assured that all measures are being taken to ensure their safety and security,” he said. “And that goes from local, state and federal levels."
Rodriguez also stressed the importance of everyone staying vigilant during the holidays.
“We want to reinforce the message that if they see something they need to say something and tell someone,” he said. “We’ve seen that when someone does see something suspicious and reports it, that can lead to a safer environment for everyone.”
Star Wars fans who plan to see the film wearing a costume need to remember several theater chains, including AMC and Cinemark have banned masks and fake weapons.
AMC has previously issued a statement telling moviegoers it is not permissible for anything to be brought inside a theater “that would make other guests feel uncomfortable, or detract from the movie-going experience.”