"The Dark Knight Rises" film was sold out in local Majestic 12 and Rave IMAX theaters last night as a gunman in Aurora, Colo., shot and killed moviegoers at the Century 16 movie theater.
"We were almost sold out last night, and we had it in all 18 theaters and in IMAX as well," Neil Gido, manager for the Rave, said.
Gido said he could not comment on how the attack in Colorado could impact ticket sales at his theater but said that a 7 p.m. screening tonight is already sold out.
The gunman, reportedly identified by police as 24-year-old James Holmes, shot and killed at least 12 people and wounded at least 38 others during a midnight screening of the new "Batman" film.
Rachel Stimson, a UTC senior spending the summer in Colorado, said she and her friends narrowly avoided the shooting when they chose to go see "The Dark Knight Rises" on opening night in IMAX rather than the theater the gunman entered.
"I didn't know until we got home what had happened," Stimson said.
Locally, Roland Chapman said he went to a midnight showing of the film and said he was shocked after hearing about the shooting.
"Hearing the news, I couldn't imagine it happening in our theater," Chapman said via Twitter.
He said he did not think the incident called for increased security in local theaters.
However, Tony Burgess, another Chattanoogan, said he thinks a uniformed officer and an undercover officer should have a larger presence in theaters.
"Security must be a priority," he said.
Officer Nathan Hartwig, spokesman for the Chattanooga Police Department, said he had no knowledge of police officers regularly stationed in or around movie theaters. In order for them to be involved, they would have to be contacted directly by theaters and work afterhours.
According to the Aurora Sentinel, Holmes was a graduate neuroscience student at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He had dropped out of the school prior to the incident yesterday.
The shooter was allegedly armed with a shotgun, assault rifle and two pistols at the time of the attack. Before the attack, he set off a gas canister in the theater.
Earlier reports that the gunman involved in the Colorado shooting was driving a car with a Tennessee license plate are unconfirmed, according to a media spokeswoman for the Aurora Police Department.
The Tennessean also reported today that "earlier reports that the suspect's car had Tennessee license plates were erroneous, said Keith Moses, assistant special agent with the FBI in Nashville, who has been in contact with the Colorado FBI."
According to an article by the Denver Post, public searches show the alleged shooter is from the San Diego area.
Local theater operators said they were unable to comment on security in their theaters, and attempts to reach corporate offices were unsuccessful.
Updated @ 8:39 a.m. on 07/21/12 to add more information as it became available.