You’re ready. You unbuckle the little one, grab the two Star Wars: The Force Awakens opening-day tickets you’ve been holding since October and finish assembling your kickass costumes—you as Darth Vader, junior as Yoda. But as you beeline past the slots toward the cineplex, you’re stopped by a security guard. It’s not because you’re running like a crazy person—it’s those masks you and your kid are wearing. They’re not allowed anywhere on property. Back to the car goes your cosplay contraband, along with your dignity, as a helmet-less Darth Vader is a dead man walking.
Those who celebrate Halloween at casinos know that masks and face paint are strictly prohibited—mostly due to security concerns and facial-recognition needs—and the same will hold true this weekend as neighborhood gambling halls prepare for spirited fans to descend on their resident movie houses. Not only do all the properties with Star Wars-screening theaters hold this policy, every theater does. AMC, which operates both the Town Square and Rainbow Promenade multiplexes, has promoted its ban nationwide. So has Cinemark, which will show The Force Awakens at locations like Suncoast and the Orleans. Regal Cinemas’ corporate office didn’t respond to queries, but a rep at its Red Rock Resort outlet confirmed the company’s mask/face-paint ban.
And it doesn’t stop at your face: Toy weaponry is also outlawed. “Anything that could be mistaken for a real weapon is something we do not allow on property,” says Boyd Gaming corporate communications director David Strow. Yes, that includes lightsabers.
But the costume-armament embargo does not include Brenden Theatres and IMAX at the Palms. Granted, it can only be plastic, Star Wars-related and worn and holstered at all times. Furthermore, security may disallow anything that makes sounds, lights up or otherwise distracts from the movie. After all, cell phones don’t need any competition.