Two of the largest movie theater chains, Cinemark and AMC, will be implementing dress codes for its showings of the upcoming film “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which opens Dec. 18, 2015.
Cinemark revealed its restrictions in fine print on the bottom of promotional posters, reading, “Star Wars” costumes are welcome. However, no face coverings, face paint or simulated weapons (including lightsabers/blasters) will be allowed in the building.”
AMC’s rules are detailed on their website, where the company wrote, “AMC does not permit weapons or items that would make other guests feel uncomfortable or detract from the movie-going experience. Guests are welcome to come dressed in costume, but we do not permit masks. In short, bring your lightsaber, turn it off during the movie, and leave the blaster and Darth Vader mask at home.”
The news is sure to disappoint some “Star Wars” fans as it limits their wardrobe choices and could result in costumes that might not make for the most accurate replications of their favorite characters.
Ryan Noonan, director of corporate communications for AMC Theaters, said the policy is not just for the new “Star Wars” film.
According to USA Today, Noonan wrote in an email, “The first two sentences of the AMC statement is our standard costume policy all of the time and has been in place for a number of years, applying to all movies, without any significant negative feedback from guests.
For example, one of the most iconic characters of the franchise, Darth Vader, is notorious for his head-covering black mask. Kylo Ren, Darth Maul, Chewbacca and Storm Troopers are a few other notable characters that require masks and face paint to complete the costumes.
The accessory restrictions come in light of security concerns. Theaters are more cautious after the 2012 shooting in Aurora, Colorado, when a theater showing “The Dark Knight Rises” faced an attack from gunman, James Holmes.
The most recent shooting at a Lousiana screening of “Trainwreck” last summer has also caused theaters to implement stricter security services.
Following the 2012 shooting, Regal Cinemas, who has yet to comment on whether or not they will restrict customers’ costumes for their showings of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” began checking and screening bags before patrons were allowed into the theater.
Regardless of the costume restriction rules, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is sure to draw record crowds.
Editor’s Note: Information from Cleveland.com, The Hollywood Reporter and USA Today was used in this report.