An Iron Man stunt has gone wrong in Missouri after the owners of one theater sought to promote the latest installation in the Iron Man movie series by having a man attend its premiere showing of the film kitted out in body armor, carrying an assault rifle.
The incident took place at the Goodrich Capital 8 Theater in Jefferson City, Missouri, and the owners have since issued an apology for the stunt, which originally was intended in jest. However, many were highly critical of the stunt, especially following the shootings in Aurora, Colorado last year when lone gunman James Holmes entered a local theater on the premiere night of the latest Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises, and shot dead 12, as well as wounding at least 58 others.
In the Missouri theater, owners arranged for a man to attend the cinema on the premiere night of Iron Man 3, wearing all black and donning body armor, as well as carrying what later turned out to be a fake assault rifle.
The incident led many moviegoers to be scared another shooting was about to take place, and a number of people at the theater called police to report there was a gunman at the location.
Capt. Doug Shoemaker said: "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 … It's an unfortunate lack of wisdom in this particular judgment that hopefully will never occur again."
In the aftermath of the incident, the movie theater posted on its Facebook page that it regularly brought in actors to dress up as movie characters for big premieres. However, it admitted it had not adequately warned moviegoers that there would be fake weapons used this time.
The company wrote on Facebook: "We apologize and are sympathetic to those who felt they were in harm's way with our character promotion for Iron Man 3. This was not a publicity stunt. We have worked with the Cosplacon group on many movies to dress up and help entertain our customers. We have had many complaints about the members dressed specifically as S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives carrying fake guns. We didn't clearly tell our customers and some people didn't realize it was for entertainment purposes only. We apologize that police were called to come out to our theater. We have a wonderful working relationship with the Jefferson City Police Department. Going forward we will take the necessary steps to make sure this doesn't happen again. Security and safety for our customers is our number one priority."
Here is a video news report into the bizarre incident at the Iron Man 3 premiere at the Goodrich Capital 8 Theater in Jefferson City, Missouri: