Missouri Theater Hires Fake Gunmen for ‘Iron Man 3’ Publicity Stunt
Capital 8 Theaters in Jefferson City, Missouri is coming under fire this week for a publicity stunt it pulled for the premiere of Iron Man 3. To promote the film, several people were hired to dress in full tactical gear with fake weapons and storm the screening.
Several 911 calls were fielded by the local police office from theatergoers who panicked at the stunt. “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,” one patron, an Army veteran, said.
“We received a series of 911 calls stating that a man dressed in all black and body armor and a rifle was walking into Capital 8 Theaters,” Capt. Doug Shoemaker of the Jefferson City police told the local news. “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 this.”
Given the shootings that occurred at a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, California last year, one has to wonder how anybody could possibly have thought this stunt would be a good idea. But the manager of Capital 8 Theaters, Bob Wilkins, defends the stunt, and claims it was planned months in advance.
“My job is to entertain people,” Wilkins told the press.
This stunt, of course, goes above and beyond projecting a movie and selling popcorn. Wilkins and his staff did have somebody in an Iron Man costume, but it would be far too easy to mistake supposed “S.H.I.E.L.D. agents” as something more sinister. Somebody’s taking his job too seriously… or not seriously enough.