When she heard about the shootings in the Colorado movie theater, Amy Mercure said, she first felt shock and fear. She questioned whether seeing the latest installment of the Batman trilogy was the best decision.
But after reflecting on the lives lost when a gunman opened fire during a midnight premiere, the Dorchester resident said she decided that the most respectful thing to do would be head to the movie theater.
“Being scared to go to the theater draws attention to [the gunman’s] actions and gives him the attention he was looking for,” Mercure said Friday as she held the hands of her two young nephews, 6 and 7 years old, outside the AMC Loews Theater Boston Common.
As the three exited after seeing Disney’s “Brave,” Mercure vowed to return this weekend with friends to see “The Dark Knight Rises” as a tribute to the shooting victims.
“It’s a way to maintain normalcy,” she said. “Plus, with the little guys, I don’t want them to be scared of going to the movies.”
‘Being scared to go to the theater draws attention to [the gunman’s] actions.’
‘My first thought was, ‘‘Maybe there should be more gun control.’
‘We’ve got to thinkabout thingslike that now.’
Although the shootings may have left moviegoers on edge, at least for the short term, several interviewed in Boston Friday said the violence in Colorado would not deter them from the popular pastime nor keep them from allowing their children to go to the movies.
Victoria Victor, 23, of Stoughton, said she had not heard many details of the shooting. But, she said, “I never worry about safety at the movies, maybe at a bar or club, but never when I’m going out to a movie.”
AMC Theaters, one of the nation’s largest theater chains, cracked down on security nationwide following the shooting, banning toy weapons, masks, and other excessive and militant costumes. In addition to the Boston Common theater on Boylston Street, the chain operates theaters in Dartmouth, Framingham, Chestnut Hill, and Burlington.
“We are taking necessary precautions to ensure our guests who wish to enjoy a movie this weekend can do so with as much peace of mind as possible in these circumstances,” the company said.
At the AMC theater at the Common — which was packed with moviegoers in Batman costumes and Joker facepaint just hours earlier for its midnight showing — the Friday afternoon crowd featured just a handful of Batman shirts.
But a steady stream of people continued to flow in and out of the theater throughmost of the day Friday as film fans flocked to the AMC’s 28 showings of the latest Batman movie.
About 2 p.m., a man who looked to be in his mid-20s quietly bicycled up to the entrance, stopped, and dropped off what looked to be a makeshift memorial to the Colorado victims: a Captain America comic stuffed with orange flowers.
Boston and Cambridge police said they were continuing security efforts at movie theaters as law enforcement across the country remained vigilant amid concernsabout possible copycat crimes.
At the Landmark cinemas in the Fenway, Boston police kept watch in the parking lot. The department said it would maintain a visible presence around the city in the wake of the massacre.
“We have been in touch with state and federal authorities and believe the Colorado shooting is an isolated incident,” a Boston police statement said. “As always, the department reminds all citizens to be mindful of their surroundings and report any suspicious activity.”
Most of the moviegoers who packed Boston theaters Friday said news of the shooting shocked them, but was not going to keep them home.
“My first thought was, ‘Maybe there should be more gun control,’ ” said Xi Chen, 26, a student at Berklee College of Music, who bought tickets for an evening show at the Common theater. “But after that, I didn’t think about it much.”
Chen, who first read about the shooting on a Chinese news website Friday morning, said that he generally feels safe at theaters and that the shooting will not lead him to change his movie-going habits.
Anya and Wallace Tisdale, 12-year-old twins from the South End, led a group of nearly 20 friends into the Common theater for a 3 p.m. showing of “The Dark Night Rises.” They said their father discussed the shooting with them before letting them head to the theater.
“He said if something like that ever happens, or if we hear shooting, to get on the ground and play dead,” Wallace said.
The twins, who had spent the morning watching news coverage of the shooting, said they have never before worried about safety at movie theaters.
“But after what happened this morning,” Anya said. “I guess we’ve got to think about things like that now.”