‘Star Wars’ fans: Leave your lightsaber at home

Fans dressed in character wait in the stands at the world premiere of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" at the TCL Chinese Theatre on Monday, Dec. 14, 2015, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

If you’re going to see ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens,’ leave your lightsaber at home.

According to KOIN, Regal, Cinemark and AMC have banned fans from wearing masks, face paint or bringing simulated weapons to any movie showings, the International Business Times reports. Regal and Cinemark also banned lightsabers, and though AMC will allow them, they want fans to turn them off during the film.

In the wake of the Colorado theater shooting in 2012, Regal Cinemas changed their policy on fans wearing costumes. Gawker reported at the time a Regal spokesperson said ticketholders “should expect stricter controls over character attire and accessories at our theaters.”

In August following another shooting at a Tennessee theater, Regal Entertainment Group began to check bags, a procedure it acknowledged on its website was “not without flaws” and would inconvenience guests but provide better security.
“Theaters have doubled security across the board over the past couple weeks,” Global Security Services owner Tom DeLuca told the International Business Times. He told them a busy theater in the heart of Manhattan will have eight trained security guards carrying sidearms at all times.

Many of Hollywood’s top stars will join hundreds of costumed fans at what could be the largest Hollywood premiere ever. One of the participating theaters — the iconic TCL Chinese — hosted the premiere of the original “Star Wars” in 1977.

Los Angeles Police say extra vehicle patrols and more officers on foot are being assigned to the area.

Monday’s premiere is the culmination of years of planning, filming and marketing “Star Wars” for a new generation.

Although “The Force Awakens” reunites the cast of the original trilogy for the first time since “Return of the Jedi,” the new film is expected to introduce a new crop of characters who can sustain the franchise for years to come.

“The Force Awakens” opens to the public Friday and some expect the film to break box office records, as it has already with presale tickets.

The last live-action “Star Wars” film was 2005’s “Revenge of the Sith,” which capped a prequel trilogy focusing on the story of how Skywalker’s father became villain Darth Vader.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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