Theaters doubling down on security for Star Wars: The Force Awakens opening

Star Wars Alamo Drafthouse theater
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is coming out tomorrow and, while there is no short of excitement about the release, tensions are running high behind the scenes. Theater operators nationwide have added extra security measures for the opening, according to Deadline, as record ticket sales indicate the premiere may become one of the biggest entertainment events of the year.

With the film opening on 4,134 screens in the U.S. and Star Wars‘ dominant media presence, many theaters have brought in extra security staff for Friday, with some opting to heighten security over the weekend or even through the holiday season.

As one might expect, some theater owners are taking more steps than others, but those investing in security are reportedly hiring 2-3 times the number of guards they would need for a normal weekend. In addition to hiring additional staff, many venues will be checking bags and even using metal-detecting wands on patrons before they enter the theater.

In addition to the sheer number of people, a security expert suggested that the larger-than-average number of attendees in costume also represents a potential security concern.

Theater owners are wary in light of recent mass shootings in San Bernadino, California, Colorado Springs, Colorado, as well as the coordinated ISIS attacks in Paris, which targeted an Eagles of Death Metal concert and a soccer match.

While there has been no official threat or warning from federal law enforcement, the National Association of Theater Operators have cited a pair of incidents at movie theaters in the last week as signs of a potential security issue. Two men approached a ticket booth at a southern California theater and asked a series of “suspicious” questions, like “How crowded is it going to be this weekend?” In Tempe, Arizona, two men walked into a theater without tickets and were recording the theater’s interior when they were caught by security.

Bottom line: You may want to get to the theater a little earlier than normal if you’re going to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens when it opens to the public which begins tonight.

Emerging Tech

Virgin Galactic’s latest test flight takes it to the edge of space

Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic has successfully carried out its fourth powered flight in Mojave, California. It was the company's most ambitious test flight yet -- and bodes well for the future.
Movies & TV

Can't get enough lightsaber action? Here's how to get your Star Wars fix online

Few of us want to deal with DVDs or Blu-ray discs anymore. Unfortunately, the Star Wars movies are few and far between when it comes to streaming. If you want to watch Star Wars online, check out our guide on where to find the films online.
Movies & TV

Disney reveals epic first picture from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge attraction

The Millennium Falcon is fueled up and ready to embark on its Smuggler's Run at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, the new theme park attraction set to open in 2019 at Disneyland and Walt Disney World.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Movies & TV

Pedro Pascal officially cast as 'The Mandalorian' as Disney show fills out cast

The Mandalorian, Jon Favreau's live-action Star Wars series planned for Disney's streaming video service, will be one of the most expensive television shows ever made. Here's everything we know about it so far.
Movies & TV

A ‘Venom’ sequel is on its way, and Spider-Man could play a role

'Venom' screenwriter Jeff Pinker confirms that a follow-up to Sony's Spider-Man spin-off is in the works. Could a certain friendly neighborhood webslinger join the action? Pinker says that it's "not impossible."
Movies & TV

'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse' is one of the hero's best movies ever

One of Spider-Man's most memorable big-screen adventures, animated feature Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse simultaneously feels like nothing we've ever seen before and a tale that feels familiar in all the best ways.
Home Theater

‘Star Trek: Discovery’ season 2 gets a new, Spock-heavy trailer

CBS has released a new trailer for Star Trek: Discovery season 2, which premieres January 17 on CBS All Access. The new trailer features series newcomers Spock and Christopher Pike prominently.
Movies & TV

Netflix is testing an instant scene-replay feature, but would you use it?

Ever felt like Netflix was missing a scene-replay button? The company is currently trialing a feature that lets you skip back to the start of the scene you just watched, though early tests appear to be annoying some viewers.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Movies & TV

Celebrate the 25th anniversary of ‘The X-Files’ with the show’s 10 best episodes

The X-Files premiered 25 years ago, so here are the 10 best episodes of the award-winning sci-fi series. From alien-abduction drama to hilarious satires, these are the best episodes from all 11 seasons of the hit series.

Psychedelic 'Spider-Man,' Superman goes evil, 'Star Trek: Discovery' trailer

This week on Between the Streams, we'll talk about the wondrous, psychedelic adventure that is Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. We'll also discuss Dr. Strange 2, the freaky trailer for Brightburn (Superman goes evil?), and more.
Home Theater

Streaming services blast past networks for the most scripted TV shows in 2018

For the first time in history, streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, produced more original scripted series than broadcast or cable channels, setting a new record for the number of TV shows on the air.
Home Theater

The best Dolby Atmos movies for your home theater sound as good as they look

If you've got your hands on some sweet Dolby Atmos gear, the next step is to find films that take advantage of it. These are our picks in every genre for the best Dolby Atmos movies currently available on Blu-ray and streaming services.