Movie Theaters Issue Strict Rules on ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Cosplay
Cosplay has become part of the communal fan experience. Dressing up as your favorite characters in increasingly elaborate fashion has gone from niche hobby to a pop culture phenomenon, especially when it comes to Star Wars. But, as cosplay has become almost omnipresent at fan functions, there’s one place where it won’t be welcome. Three of the biggest movie theater chains in the U.S. have enacted some strict restrictions on Star Wars cosplay during upcoming screenings of The Force Awakens.
Following shootings during a screening The Dark Knight Rises back in 2012 and earlier this year during a screening of Trainwreck, AMC Theaters, Cinemark and Regal Cinemas all have some enacted cosplay safety guidelines that will be enforced at all theaters this December.
First AMC Theaters:
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.
Interesting that they do not permit “weapons” but encourage you to “bring your lightsaber.” Also, they are vague enough to say that any item that would “make other guests feel uncomfortable” is not permitted. Which means, even if you are initially allowed into the theater, if someone complains, you may be asked to put your Tusken Raider gaderffii back in the car.
Next, Regal Cinemas:
Generally the same. Wear your costume, but no masks and no weapons or weapon-like props. Again, vague enough where even your Jawa droid caller could become an issue.
Star Wars costumes are welcome. However, no face coverings, face paint or simulated weapons (including lightsabers/blasters) will be allowed in the building.
Things a little more strict at Cinemark, who expressly forbid lightsabers and face paint as well as masks. Sorry, Darth Maul enthusiasts.
It may be disappointing to Star Wars fans eager to express themselves creatively and bond with their fellow moviegoers, but in an era when safety at the movie theater has become as tenuous as ever, it’s sadly necessary.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens in theaters on December 18.