Another blow to our country's innocence, another safe haven violated with grotesque and violent horror. Last week's Aurora, Colo., movie theater shooting massacre during a midnight screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" is one more dagger to the heart of the American way of life.
Another blow to the country's innocence, another safe haven violated with grotesque and violent horror.
Last week's Aurora, Colo., movie theater shooting massacre during a midnight screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" is one more dagger to the heart of the American way of life.
The smell of buttered popcorn was replaced by the stench of tear gas and gunpowder. It was not soda and Raisinets spilled under the soft theater seats but blood.
Gunmen spraying bullets in an effort to kill as many people as possible have shattered our sense of security in so many places already: Our high schools (Columbine, Paducah, Ky.), our colleges (Virginia Tech), fast-food restaurants (San Diego McDonald's in 1984), and 12 months ago at Rep. Gabby Giffords' outdoor town hall meeting with constituents.
Now a neighborhood cineplex has been turned into a house of death.
An American movie tradition, the summer blockbuster, has been an entertainment staple since the mid-1970s when "Jaws" ushered in the tradition of the summer movie "event."
"The Dark Night Rises" was one of the most eagerly anticipated films of the year. The third installment of the Batman reboot orchestrated by director Christopher Nolan can boast of all the ingredients crucial to a summer event movie: Big themes presented on a huge canvas, spectacular special effects and a superhero story based on a comic book legend.
Nolan's film is of the type that will attract a wide swath of moviegoers, true. People who only go to the movie theater once or twice a year are probably more likely to pay out their cash to see "The Dark Night Rises." However, the soon-to-be innocent victims who packed into the theater for the midnight showing in Colorado were, on the whole, probably not casual film fans.
These were the diehards, the bloggers, the merchandise buyers. And they were so much more. We can imagine their stories and the circumstances that brought them to Theater 9. We can picture some on first dates and others finally ready to relax after a long week at work. Many of them probably had opening night circled on their calendars for months in advance. That's what is so chilling. Some unfortunate souls circled the date of their deaths.
The Batman film franchise forever will be marred by the events in Aurora, although that fact is no more than a footnote compared to the unbearable loss of life.
Meanwhile, one of our few remaining sanctuaries — the dark, air-conditioned movie theater where we take our children; where we go to relax and escape, has lost its innocence, perhaps forever.
The Evening Tribune of Hornell, N.Y.