Some Theater Chains Are Banning Lightsabers From Star Wars: The Force Awakens Screenings


If you’re excited to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens, excited enough to go in costume to your local theater, better check out these dos and don’ts before you go. Some chains are asking fans to leave their masks and lightsabers at home.

Tickets for The Force Awakens went on sale for many venues two weeks ago (Fortune went so far as to say it “absolutely destroyed ticket sales records”) but The Hollywood Reporter notes that many of us used to enthusiastically enjoying genre films in costume may need to leave off a few accessories this time around.

A fan tweeted a Force Awakens poster from Cinemark Theatres:

The small print reads: “Star Wars costumes are welcome. However no face coverings, face paint or simulated weapons (including lightsabers/blasters) will be allowed in the building.”

Cinemark, you may recall, was the theater chain which operated Century in Aurora, Colorado where that horrific shooting took place in 2012. You may think this poster is ignoring actual weapons but apparently Cinemark already has a policy against anyone other than law enforcement carrying firearms inside their establishments (which they have posted at ticket counters).

AMC theaters have posted a slightly clearer (in my opinion) costume policy on their Force Awakens landing page:

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.

This doesn’t bother me, I’d prefer to ban both actual weapons and regular items which would otherwise distract from the film (yeah, cell phone usage included), but I can see some kids being disappointed they won’t be able to go all out in their gear. One of the new characters, Kylo Ren, has already proved very popular through Halloween costumes and uses a mask as well as a lightsaber.

According to The Star in Toronto, some theaters there are seeing such high demand for tickets they’ve started adding a whole new round of showings. “This is the highest demand for advance tickets that we’ve seen in our history for any opening weekend,” said Pat Marshall of Cineplex Entertainment.

As always, safety first but especially in large crowds and be respectful of your fellow theatergoers.


2 Responses to “Some Theater Chains Are Banning Lightsabers From Star Wars: The Force Awakens Screenings”

  1. Honestly, if someone is whipping a glowy plastic stick in front of my face while I’m trying to watch, they’re going to have to get glowy plastic ass X-rays when we leave the theater.

  2. Crusso says:

    It’s a fricken 2 hr movie! Sit down, shut up and turn off your damn cell phone. Don’t just turn off the ringer but then drag it out every ten minutes to check your messages and distract everyone around you!