After the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado, many wonder, "Could it happen here?"
Madison has had its own theater tragedies. In 1925 the Parkway Theater, 6-10 W. Mifflin St., was destroyed by fire; 1,000 theatergoers stampeded. Many were injured, and children were trampled. A 13-year-old girl suffered extensive burns when she saved a six-year-old boy by shielding him with her body.
The Parkway was formerly the Fuller Opera House. In 1896 vaudevillian Eddie Foy was performing there when a tornado tore off the roof and dumped it two blocks away.
Today, Madison venues have a range of safeguards to protect audiences -- a subject even more on people's minds since the shooting in the Milwaukee-area Sikh temple.
At AMC Theatres, which operates Star Cinema, "We're reinforcing our security procedures with our theater teams, which we cannot discuss in detail for obvious safety reasons," says Ryan Noonan, national director of public relations. "We will not admit guests who have on face-concealing masks, and we will not allow fake weapons in the buildings."
Sundance Cinemas and Marcus Theatres-- which operates Eastgate and Point Cinemas -- refuse to comment on security as a matter of policy.
At the Overture Center, "We do employ security personnel at most events," says spokesman Rob Chappell. "For every performance, certainly, and most other events like weddings and things we require security to be present."
At the University of Wisconsin's Kohl Center (as well as Camp Randall) measures include "armed law enforcement, unarmed contracted security, security cameras, doctors, nurses and paramedics," says Todd Nelson, assistant athletic director for event operations. "A number of items are prohibited in venues, and for many events bag checks are conducted prior to entering a facility."
At University Theatre, "Our emergency procedures manual covers policies and procedures for the following events: winter storm, explosion, flooding, power outage, medical emergencies during a show, criminal activity, suspicious package, fire, tornado [and] chemical spills," says general manager Michele Traband.
Across the street, the UW School of Music defers all questions to UW Police, which since 2008 has offered training to students and staff titled "Preventing Mass Casualty Shootings in a Campus Setting."
Staff at the Wisconsin Union Theater have some security training. Throughout all Wisconsin Union facilities, staff assist evacuation in the event of fire, and direct patrons where to find shelter from tornadoes.
Both the Union Theater and Barrymore Theatre take measures to ensure that exits are secure, and armed and unarmed security are often present.
Edgewood College has a new theater, which has yet to open, and past security procedures may be updated.
At the Bartell Theatre, "We have emergency evacuation procedures and training approved by the fire marshal, with special emphasis on ensuring the safety of the mobility-impaired in this old building," says managing director Sarah Hoover. "Fortunately, [our] entire Evjue Stage is a tornado shelter, so we fear no storms."