Police nationwide increase security for opening weekend of ‘Joker’ movie

NEW YORK — The NYPD and authorities across the nation are stepping up security for the opening weekend of “Joker.” 

Authorities are on high alert in response to fears of violence breaking out during screenings. The concerns have stemmed from the mass shooting at an Aurora, Colorado theater that occurred during a screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” in 2012.

The NYPD says no specific threat has been made.

The film, which stars Joaquin Pheonix, was screened Wednesday at Lincoln Center, where officers were surrounded the area and moviegoers were checked before heading in. 

Police officers are expected to watch over movie theaters until further notice. 

Yonkers police also announced they will increase their presence at local theaters out of an abundance of caution.

Many theaters around the country have already banned moviegoers from wearing costumes, masks and face painting. 

Earlier this week, some family members and friends of loved ones who witnessed or were killed in the Aurora shooting called on Warner Bros., the film's distributor, to help combat gun violence.

In a letter addressed to Warner Bros. CEO Ann Sarnoff and obtained by CNN, five family members and friends of victims of the theater shooting asked the studio to "use your massive platform and influence to join us in our fight to build safer communities with fewer guns."

CNN contributed to this report.

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