WILKES-BARRE – Twi-hards packed at least 12 theaters at Movies 14 on Northampton Street on Thursday night for the local opening of the latest and final edition in the Twilight movie series, most unaware of an unfounded threat posted on a social media page about spraying bullets at the showing in Wilkes-Barre.
Earlier this week, city police investigated who was behind posting threatening messages on a local radio station's Facebook page promoting the release of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part II.
The message, posted Nov. 5, stated: You know what would make Breaking Dawn 2 even more scary? If someone brought a gun to the theater and came out of nowhere and started blasting everyone at the Move (sic) theater, according to search warrant affidavits.
At the bottom of the Facebook post to WKRZ, according to the affidavits, were pictures of the Twilight movie poster and James Holmes, the person arrested in the mass shooting at the showing of the Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises at a movie complex in Aurora, Colo., on July 20.
The police department stated Wednesday evening that it thoroughly investigated the threat related to the Twilight movie and determined that there is not a credible threat at this time. The individual that made the postings is in Wisconsin.
Dressed in a black hooded cloak and pale makeup and resembling the blonde Bella Love character, Jaylynne Czerniakowski, 20, said she and her brother Zachary, 16, both of Kingston, arrived at about 7:30 p.m. for a 10 p.m. showing and had not heard of the threat. Told the details, they said it would not have affected their decision to attend.
Zachary, wearing traditional vampire garb and sporting the Edward Cullen character's pompadour hairstyle, said they dressed in costume to try to win prizes for the private group showing they were attending in one of the theaters.
Lisa Lauth, of Jim Thorpe, and her friend Jacy Hablett, of Lehighton, both 30, said they arrived at about 8 p.m. for another 10 p.m. private group showing and had not heard of the threat either.
Jen Martin, of Lake Township, was the organizer of the private showing Lauth and Hablett attended.
We do these VIP parties for a lot of book-to-movie adaptations for a lot of book fans. … We provide a private theater with popcorn, candy, soda and (movie merchandise) give-aways, Martin said, adding that proceeds from Thursday's VIP showing would be donated to the Red Cross for Hurricane Sandy relief.
Movies 14 management said there were three such private parties that rented out theaters on Thursday for the movie.
We loved the books and then the movie, so we just got together with some other fans we connected with and it just kept growing, Martin said, adding that they had 105 people in their group.
She read about the threat and the statement from police and was unconcerned.
We talked to the theater (management) and they let us know they have extra security tonight. And I do know they have Wilkes-Barre police here tonight and we're putting our faith in them, Martin said.