Bad news for fans who plan to see highly anticipated movies in costume.
by Patch O'Furr
- Part 1: Bad news for fans who plan to see highly anticipated movies in costume.
- Part 2: Costume bans and security – A furry movie theater worker’s opinion.
- Part 3: Want to organize a furmeet for Zootopia? Here’s how.
In March, Zootopia is going to bring all the furries!
Everywhere furries are, they’re talking about meets for Zootopia’s opening week. My area has a proposed meet (without even a location) and already 44 are signed up. At this rate, they’ll pack a whole theater of their own (and it’s being arranged.) Mention the idea, and without fail everyone loves it. Many want to go in fursuit. I won’t be surprised if furmeets makes headlines. I feel like this movie will bring Furry Fever like no other. Is this happening in your area, too?
Why go to the movies in costume? You’re just sitting in the dark. Well, for some it’s just a great excuse to celebrate a shared experience with fandom. (NOTE: There has been a lot of confusion about this. It doesn’t mean to wear a costume DURING the movie.)
Here’s a sign of the hype. In June, maker Crafty Critters went outside furry preference for all-original characters by making a Nick Wilde Cosplay fursuit. It appeared astonishingly early after Disney’s June 11 release of the Zootopia trailer – just in time for Anthrocon.
Buzz kill – Theaters are getting paranoid about security and banning masks. (NOTE: the entire article was completed prior to tragedies in France.)
Movie theaters ban ‘Star Wars’ masks; AMC doesn’t want guests to feel ‘uncomfortable.’ This is recent news about the second largest chain in the U.S. It’s unclear if others are following suit. I’ve heard differing opinions from theater workers about how strict policies may be.
Blame it on James Holmes. In 2012, Colorado experienced the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. Holmes targeted a theater showing The Dark Knight Rises:
He was dressed in black and wore a gas mask… Initially, few in the audience considered Holmes to be a threat. According to witnesses, he appeared to be wearing a costume, like other audience members who had dressed up for the screening. Some believed he was playing a prank… [others thought he was part of a publicity stunt].
The shooting prompted an increase in security at movie theaters across the U.S. that were screening the same film, in fear of copycat crimes.
It was the first time that ever happened. Now, does banning masks = safety? Could they have prevented Colorado’s Columbine massacre by banning trench coats? Is this a real solution compared to addressing guns or mental health? Well, there’s no need to go off topic because security is clearly an issue. The point is, it’s too bad that everyone’s social lives suffer because of extreme but very rare offenses.
Mask/Hood Bans: beyond fun to free speech.
Corporations can regulate private property as they like. But there’s a public issue. It brings concern about the way private security influences communities.
The corporate policies are happening on top of older local laws that ban hoods and masks. Some communities have seldom-used ordinances. An original reason in the 1960’s was to control hate groups like the KKK. Now, there’s debate about these laws being misused in capricious, prejudiced, or reactionary ways, even to suppress protesters who would be first to oppose hate groups. (Anonymous speech is considered an important First Amendment right.)
That’s news this week in Vermont: Burlington ban on masks raises free-speech questions.
Searches are coming in to this blog for the issue, because The Vermont Furries are on the leading edge of it. They have engaged their city government about repealing the law. Vermont town selectively bans fursuiters: Prejudice complaint and update.
More – Mask/hood bans: Haters love this excuse for war on fun and freedom.
Returning to furry wishes to celebrate, and how to solve this.
It takes special imagination to fear fursuit attacks. (What do you call that – “yelling Furry in a crowded theater?”) But since the attack in Colorado, at least three shootings have piled up to ruin things for everyone. What the heck!? It used to be called “going postal”, so why theaters?
- CNBC: Debate heats up on movie theater security.
- AV Club: Regal Cinemas institutes bag check policy in response to theater shootings.
- Time.com – Theater Madness: “After three attacks, America’s 5,700 movie theaters remain one of the last major public gathering places without routine security.”
Oh, OK. That’s true about theaters. The guy who rips your ticket typically isn’t even as formidable as a school guard who grabs surly 4th-graders by the elbow and marches them to the principal.
It makes you wish people would just lighten up and be more loving. But it doesn’t mean we’re falling into a dark age. Crime just comes with crowds.
There’s been widespread talk about security issues affecting Furry events. (I was sad to have to take down a recent post about event security, due to a privacy request.) The MWFF chlorine attack and cancelations of Oklacon and Rainfurrest involved issues that come with community growth – it’s the village vs. city problem. It means Furries are growing up as a fandom. The upside of strong growth is the way any drawback is matched by many successes.
Here’s a solution – the same way to maintain a friendly community anywhere: Trust.
A theater manager who discussed organizing my local Zootopia furmeets explained that a specific member list and signed waivers could do a lot to persuade management. Any fans who organize meets can raise trust by crafting professional proposals, and making sure their members are prepared and mature about understanding these issues. Share this article to them.
This March, I’m looking forward to seeing fears calmed by friendly audiences, with many fuzzy ears silhouetted by silver screens.
Watch for followup soon: a guest post from a Furry theater worker, and an example for how to propose a meet.
Already made plans with my local movie theater for a private party screening of Zootopia on Saturday, March 5th around 11:30pm. I also went there later on in one of my Fursuits (Nugget the Golden Retriever Service Dog) so they had more than an idea on what to expect. Everyone at the theater is looking forward to us being there…Hakuna Matata!
I like the mention of trust, since it goes both ways. Mask bans are put in place because of a lack of trust by people of authority; could there also be unreasonable push-back to ideas like sign-ups or background-checks from a lack of trust the other way?
I highly suspect they theaters are far more concerned with the upcoming Star Wars flick.
Consider: huge crowds, people dressed as Darth Vader, Storm Stroopers, Bounty Hunters…all with masks that cover their faces….and all carrying weapons.
Yeah I’m sure that’s true… although it’s a degree of difference, a blanket rule does affect everyone. And if furry style of costume makes worries really absurd, it’s good to point out why.
(That’s why,there’s convention’s a specific place,to go to and be Abel to be…the term full body,and your coverd-up,and i like the the sign-in sheets)
I see Ze Furries are trying to make it “their” movie, to “take it for themselves”. How very egotistical.
No, I refuse to be optimistic on this matter.
That’s what “fandom” means… feeling a relationship to art and entertainment, beyond just consuming it.
When marketers split people up into tribes and classes, sometimes the people ask for a little say in the culture. Nothing wrong with that.
Disney basically turned manufacturing fandom into an art form… of course they’re hard at work making buzz. They’ve been very aware of this fandom for a long time too, there’s been Disney directors as fur convention guests of honor since 1996. It’s a tiny niche, so I keep hearing people arguing that they’d never bother with notice. That’s super naive. Buzz is way separate from size of audience. Courting niche audiences is how they start it. Sure, they’d keep it under the table and leave a big does of plausible deniability. But they’ve been packing adult jokes into kids movies for decades. They’re masters at winking at you. Huge companies don’t make money by being ignorant. Don’t think they don’t know what they’re doing when they put “anthropomorphic” in the trailer.
That’s so true,pach o’fur,and it’s started for me at a early age,my first video game was paper Mario long before i knew of the furry fandom,or anthrocon,and than i got into the furry fandom,and i was allway’s doing something,and cartoons was my entertainment,and pach o’fur is right,and I’ve made so much art in one place,and i could not import it so it is apprise’ed,and I’ve used Facebook to a end,and all my friends said that i know what to do,and i can help people,if i listen,and stay on topic so as an story-maker i have lots of things that i can do so you can say I’m ignorant yet,it’s what you put out there,so i make text,and photos to make story’s just that i was doing,a relationship,to art and entertainment and so pach o’fur i right,and my rollplaying coverd all age’es,and i just went with it so with time comes wisdom,and being wise so if you find something in my reply,ask me,and i can here you out so judge me on my reply
Fursuiting might not make sense in the movie itself but to be able to interact with all the people in line for the opening could be super fun, Of course you have to remove the suit head while paying but still seems like a good way to interact with other local furries or even just the general public :3