'Straight Outta Compton' screenings will have extra security in some US theaters
US movie theaters wishing to add extra security this weekend for the release of Straight Outta Compton will be reimbursed by Universal, the film's production studio.
The biopic follows the pioneering hip-hop group, NWA, beginning in 1986, and includes footage of the 1991 beating of Rodney King by LA police - an event that, despite the two and half decades passed, seems particularly relevant today. A state of emergency was just issued early this week in Ferguson, Missouri, after an 18-year-old black man was killed while protesting to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager shot and killed by police.
Meanwhile, cinemas have been the target of several recent mass shootings. Just last month, John Russel Houser, 59, killed two people and injured nine others at a cinema in Louisiana during the screening of Amy Schumer's Trainwreck.
Though Universal acknowledges the concern over cinema security, it has also expressed its support of the movie and its message: "Universal is proud of our association with Straight Outta Compton, which vividly portrays the rise of five talented young men from underprivileged and oppressed backgrounds into one of the most influential acts in modern music history. The film has been seen in hundreds of screenings, all of which have occurred without incident.”
Facts about cinema security:
A study conducted in July, just days after the deadly Louisiana shooting, found that one-third of respondents said they thought movie theaters should have metal detectors and armed security. But only 13% said they'd be willing to pay an estimated $3 increase in ticket prices to cover security costs.
Securing theaters would require metal detectors, X-ray machines, workers to operate those devices, and additional security. At a multiplex, this would cost between $250,000 and $1 million annually, according to security consultant Michael Dorn.
Three years ago, a gunman opened fire in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, killing 12 and wounding 70. Cinemark, the owner of the theater where the shooting happened, is currently facing several lawsuits filed by victims and their family members, who claim Cinemark should be held liable because of inadequate security.
Cover image: Fast Company