In an attempt to promote the premiere of Iron Man 3, a theater in Jefferson City, Missouri hired people to dress up like S.H.I.E.L.D agents and storm a screening with weapons drawn.
“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,” said John Molock, an army war vet who says the experience triggered his PTSD.
Needless to say, if there were people carrying concealed weapons in the theater things could have taken a turn for the tragic very quickly. However, the stunt did result in several 911 calls, which didn’t make the local police happy.
Capital 8 Theaters manager Bob Wilkins claimed that the stunt was planned months in advance and when asked directly whether or not they took the Colorado shootings into consideration when forming the plan he responded thusly:
“Absolutely. That’s my number-one priority every day. It’s the safety and security of our guests.”
He went on to say that he didn’t regret the incident and that “his job is to entertain people.”
On that note, Goodrich Capital 8 has had some time to digest the backlash, which has resulted in a statement on Facebook that’s full of regret:
“We apologize and are sympathetic to those who felt they were in harm’s way with our character promotion for Iron Man 3. This was not a publicity stunt. We have worked with the Cosplacon group on many movies to dress up and help entertain our customers. We have had many complaints about the members dressed specifically as S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives carrying fake guns. We didn’t clearly tell our customers and some people didn’t realize it was for entertainment purposes only. We apologize that police were called to come out to our theater. We have a wonderful working relationship with the Jefferson City Police Department. Going forward we will take the necessary steps to make sure this doesn’t happen again. Security and safety for our customers is our number one priority.”