Violence fears among Star Wars theater owners may have reached a new level.
The country’s eighth largest theater chain, Bow Tie, has decided to ban fans from wearing face paint to screenings of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. (Presumably regular cosmetic make-up is okay).
That’s in addition to banishing masks, capes, cloaks, blasters and other “simulated weapons” at its 59 locations.
The chain is also specifically outlawing toy lightsabers, even though they would be pretty tough to mistake for a real weapon.
In its newly issued guidelines to give fans a heads up on what’s permitted, however, Bow Tie did note that attendees can otherwise wear a costume.
Between the 2012 shooting in an Aurora, Colorado movie theater that left 12 dead, and fears over ISIS terrorist attacks during the holiday season, it’s not surprising theaters would restrict anything that hides a person’s face or could disguise a real weapon.
Major chain AMC issued a less restrictive policy, yet is still clamping down on anybody who might want to come dressed as a Stormtrooper: “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.”
At least one chain told us they’ll let customers wear whatever they want, but are also, perhaps wisely, not looking to publicize their lenient stance.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens everywhere Dec. 18. The film’s world premiere happens on Monday night in Los Angeles, and will be available for live-streaming on the official Star Wars site.