The staff of a Jefferson City, Missouri movie theater apologized Friday after pulling a stunt that was supposed to add entertainment to the movie going fans there that night.
They had an actor, wearing body armor and dressed in black, carrying a fake rifle walk in to the movie house.
This clearly was not a good move with people still fresh off of last summers Aurora,CO shootings that took place in the theater where "The Dark Knight Rises" was playing. He also was wearing full police body armor and killed 12 people that night.
The stunt occurred during a promotion for the movie "Iron Man 3" last weekend at the Goodrich Capital 8 Theaters in Jefferson City. Actors appeared at the theater, including some dressed as officers and one as Iron Man. Another actor was wearing what appeared to be assault gear and carrying a rifle.
Management of the Jefferson City theater apologized on the theater's Facebook page, saying it was meant to be part of the entertainment for the evening. They added that they had done similar dress-up promotions in the past for movie openings.
"We apologize and are sympathetic to those who felt they were in harm's way with our character promotion for Iron Man 3," the Friday posting read. "We didn't clearly tell our customers and some people didn't realize it was for entertainment purposes only."
The regional manager for Goodrich Quality Theaters, the chain that owns the Jefferson City cinema, was not returning phone calls to speak on the event.
Ten responding Police also angry as well, initially believing they were responding to a potential active shooting situation.
"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," Capt. Doug Shoemaker told KMIZ-TV in Jefferson City. "There's really no good that can come of this."
Shoemaker added that it was a good thing off-duty officers weren't in the theater, because they may have confronted the actor, potentially creating a dangerous situation.
"It's an unfortunate lack of wisdom in this particular judgment that hopefully will never occur again," Shoemaker said.
"Security and safety for our customers in our number one priority," its Facebook posting read.
When done in good fun, things like this can add to the movie going experience, but unfortunately in this day and age, everything has to be clearly thought out and well communicated.