Did you know I used to run movie theaters? Yep, sure did. Periodically we would be called upon (forced) to devise a fun stunt to draw the people in. For example, I once enlisted the services of a caricaturist for the release of Pinocchio, to draw people with elongated noses. Going to the movies is fun!
Of course, there is a downside to leaving this kind of stunt in the hands of amateurs.
During the opening weekend of the latest 'Iron Man' movie, a man walked into the theater in full tactical gear and carrying a fake gun.Plus, it really killed the idea of bring-your-parents-assault-rifle day at the local grade school.
Jefferson City police and witnesses, however, are not pleased with the stunt and are questioning the theater's logic after recent shootings in Aurora, Colo. and Newtown, Conn.
John Molock is a retired Army war veteran and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. He told ABC 17 News this most recent trip to the movies triggered memories he never wanted to relive.
"We had just finished watching Iron Man 3," said Morlock. "We're just getting into the car when I spotted a man in full assault gear, carrying what appeared to be a modified M-4 and 9 mm on his side."
Morlock did not call police, but several other moviegoers did.
"We received a series of 911 calls stating that a man dressed in all black and body armor and a rifle was walking into Capital 8 Theaters," said Capt. Doug Shoemaker.
Officers thought they were responding to an active shooter investigation.
"Everything was in place, it's the opening night of a superhero movie, it's somebody walking in all-dark clothes, everything pointed to bad things about to happen," said Shoemaker. "There's really no good that can come of this."
What I'm wondering is, Missouri allows weapons in public places. Where are all the heroes, the good guys with guns, when this guy is walking through the lobby? I'm glad no one was shot, but why didn't someone draw and demand this guy stand down?