At the opening of “Iron Man 3” at a Capital 8 movie theater in Jefferson City, Mo., a man entered in full-blown tactile gear, yielding a gun.
Bob Wilkins, the theater’s manager, had planned the ‘scene of the crime’ months in advance. He continues to insist that the terrifying publicity stunt was actually incredibly entertaining, noting that only "a few" patrons were upset. He told ABC that he did not regret pulling the stunt in the least. "My job is to entertain people," Wilkins says, holding strong to his opinion that only "a few" patrons were upset.
Attendees were not nearly so amused. "We're just getting into the car when I spotted a man in full assault gear, carrying what appeared to be a modified M-4 and 9 mm on his side," said John Molock, an army war veteran who was present during the stunt. He says the experience triggered his post traumatic stress disorder.
The police received a number of calls reporting a gunman walking into the theater. Police reportedly thought they were responding to an “active shooter situation.” Local police Captain Doug Shoemaker explains that panic is quite an understandable reaction: "Everything was in place, it's the opening night of a superhero movie, it's somebody walking in all-dark clothes, everything pointed to bad things about to happen. There’s really no good that can come of that,” he says.
Local moviegoers are especially offended due to the scene’s similarity to the much-too-recent movie theater shootings in Aurora, Co. and Newtown, Conn. “The whole country is talking about gun control because of shootings at theaters and schools,” says Molock. Shoemaker agrees, saying “"It's an unfortunate lack of wisdom in this particular judgement,” and that it “hopefully will never occur again."
Wilkins still stands by his decision, even saying that he’d pull the stunt all over again if he had the chance.
Check out the video here.