LOS ANGELES — Movie-goers can expect to see a stepped-up police presence at some theaters this weekend in conjunction with the opening of the film “Straight Outta Compton,” a biopic about the rise of rap group N.W.A.
More officers or extra patrols will be in place at select theaters showing the movie, and there could be undercover officers in and around the movie houses, LAPD spokesman Cmdr. Andy Smith told City News Service.
“The various divisions around the city will be evaluating the needs of each theater,” Smith said.
He cited recent shootings at movie theaters around the country as a reason for the increased enforcement, but noted that the subject matter of “Straight Outta Compton” is also a cause for concern.
A movie of this nature may cause different groups that [have] rivalries to be at the same theater at the same time … and we want to avoid any confrontations,” he said.
Smith said police “want everyone to feel safe and enjoy the movie experience.” He urged the public to report any suspicious activity to police.
The LAPD’s Southwest Division is expected to deploy more law enforcement to the theaters in its area, which includes the Adams-Normandie, Baldwin Hills, Baldwin Village, Baldwin Vista, Crenshaw, Exposition Park, Jefferson Park, Leimert Park, Union Square, University Park, Village Green and West Adams areas.
LAPD had a large presence at Monday’s red carpet premiere of the movie at L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles.
Sgt. Rich Hurtado of the Central Division, which serves the downtown area, said their officers worked the premiere “and had no problems.”
Advance screenings of the movie that were attended by thousands of people have also gone on without incident, Universal Pictures representatives told Variety, though the movie studio is offering to reimburse theaters that hire extra security.
Theaters in outlying areas in Norwalk, Whittier and Pico Rivera have chosen not to show the film, at least during its opening week. Theaters in Downey and Montebello are showing the movie.
“Straight Outta Compton” is expected to be a big money-maker this weekend, after generating plenty of buzz in recent weeks.
“This is one of the movies everyone’s been looking forward to all summer,” Paul Dergarabedian of box-office tracker Rentrak told City News Service.
“So many people grew up listening to the music, now its become a story that resonates,” he said. “They changed the face of hip-hop beat music. I think there’s a lot of people interested in this story.”
Dergarabedian said the film is expected to add to an already monster year for Universal, which has already had major hits such as “Jurassic World,” “50 Shades of Grey” and “Pitch Perfect 2.”