According to multiple reports, a movie theater in Huntington Beach, California, had to shut down screenings of the film, Joker, due to reports of a “credible threat” reported to the authorities. In a statement on Friday, the Huntington Beach Police Department confirmed the news.
Police shut down screenings of the movie at XD theater as well as Century Huntington Beach in the Bella Terra commercial center and police were dispatched to the scene, however, screenings resumed today, on Friday, the 4th of October.
The Huntington Beach Police Department wrote in their statement that they had received information of a potential threat at the aforementioned theater due to the debut of the film starring the Gladiator alum.
In their statement, police confirmed the threat was serious and “credible enough” for them to send officers to the establishment. The police worked with the theater to cancel the final two screenings of the critically acclaimed film.
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Joker's #RottenTomatoes audience score is showing that fans are embracing the movie more than critics. 🃏🍅 While initial reviews were overwhelmingly rave, as #Joker got closer to release critical opinion became more divisive, to the point that the film was oscillating in and out of its "Certified Fresh" rating. However, after the opening night screenings, audiences are weighing in, and it seems the fan consensus is a lot more positive than the critical one. As of now, Joker has scored a 93% audience score, compared to its 69% critical score. Discover what people are saying about the film so far at the link in bio. 📸: @toddphillips1 / #JokerMovie
Following their investigation, police determined it was now safe for them to continue with the movie. The theater is open for business and it resumed normal operations following the threat. The authorities didn’t disclose any more information about the nature of the threat.
Reportedly, the movie’s exploration of the tie between mental illness and violence led to theater owners as well as law enforcement officials to fear a possibility of violent behavior. Police officers from LA, as well as New York, are sending officers to theaters this weekend.
Back in August, the movie was screened at the Venice Film Festival where it was awarded the festival’s highest prize, the Golden Lion. Earlier this week, both Joaquin Phoenix and the director of the movie, Todd Phillips, addressed concerns that the movie might inspire violence.
Joaquin claimed it was important for people to stop their inclination of assuming the evil of others, and instead, try and understand the experience of another person. Todd Phillips, as well, stated Joker was a film based around fictional characters in a fictional universe, and the social ills of the USA couldn’t be blamed on it.