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No bags inside Dickinson movie theater: Theaters across the nation react to Aurora, Colo., shooting

This undated film image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Christian Bale as Batman in a scene from the action thriller "The Dark Knight Rises." Following the July 20 Aurora, Colo., shooting at a screening of the movie, theaters across the nation are updating policies regarding what can be brought into a movie.

When going to catch a flick at Odyssey Cine 3 in Dickinson, movie-goers will have to leave their bags at the door, according to a new policy.

Posted behind the theater's ticket counter, the notice stated, "Due to increased security measures, no bags or packages besides ladies purses will be allowed in the building."

Even though the July 20 screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" in Dickinson went off without a hitch, movie theaters nationwide have been forced to examine their policies and procedures in the wake of the July 20 mass shooting at an Aurora, Colo., theater, where an alleged gunman released gas canisters before opening fire on Batman fans after the film began.

By the time the suspect, James E. Holmes, was apprehended, 12 people were dead and dozens more injured, some critically.

Cine 3 manager Marietta Martin said she could not comment, but added that representatives from Odyssey Entertainment, which operates the Dickinson theater, came to town Tuesday.

Odyssey Entertainment Inc., based out of Maple Grove, Minn., currently operates a seven-plex in Marietta, Ohio, a five-plex in Watertown, S.D., and Dickinson's theater under the Odyssey Theatres flag, as well as six other theater locations in Minnesota and Iowa under the CineMagic Theatres flag.

Gary Westmark, vice president of Odyssey Entertainment Inc., did not return phone calls.

According to Cine 3's movie information line, there were four showings per day of "The Dark Knight Rises" through Thursday.

Cine 3 appeared to be the only local theater that played "The Dark Knight Rises" last weekend following the shooting.

It's a good film, said Brendan Steiner, a senior at Trinity High School in Dickinson, who saw the movie with two of his friends two days after the shooting, and he did not feel what happened 600 miles away should prevent him from seeing the movie in Dickinson.

"I'd heard about it, but I wasn't really nervous about seeing it here in Dickinson because I figured that what happened in Colorado was a one-time deal," Steiner said "It was one guy who did something awful, but I figured that if it didn't happen anywhere else after that, why would it happen here?"

Dylan Fridrich, a recent graduate of Trinity who saw the movie with Steiner, said he was out of town when the news broke about the shooting in Colorado, and he didn't even hear about what happened until he returned from seeing the film.

"I didn't even know about until I got home and told someone that I saw the movie and they said 'You saw it without getting shot?'" Fridrich said. "It's a big 'what if' to say if it would have stopped me from going had I known about what happened in Colorado before I saw the movie."