Tags: regal cinemas | checking | bags | shootings

Regal Cinemas Checking Bags After Two Theater Shootings This Summer

Image: Regal Cinemas Checking Bags After Two Theater Shootings This Summer
A Regal Cinemas in New Rochelle, New York, a suburb of New York City. (Wikimedia/Commons)

By    |   Thursday, 20 Aug 2015 01:04 PM

Regal Cinemas, the largest movie theater chain in the U.S., announced this week that it will begin checking bags for safety purposes.

"Security issues have become a daily part of our lives in America," said the company in a statement on its website, Entertainment Weekly reported.

"Regal Entertainment Group wants our customers and staff to feel comfortable and safe when visiting or working in our theaters. To ensure the safety of our guests and employees, backpacks and bags of any kind are subject to inspection prior to admission. We acknowledge that this procedure can cause some inconvenience and that it is not without flaws, but hope these are minor in comparison to increased safety."

The new policy, which will go into effect at all of Regal's approximately 7,300 screens, comes on the heels of two movie theater attacks this summer.

The first incident occurred at a Lafayette, Louisiana, theater in July, where a gunman killed two women and himself. The second occurred in Nashville in August when a man attacked moviegoers with pepper spray and a hatchet. Three years ago, James Holmes opened fire at a Colorado movie theater, killing 12 people.

Paul Dergarabedian, senior analyst for entertainment research company Rentrak, told USA Today that the new procedure might not phase many consumers.

"Moviegoers have become so accustomed to having these types of security measures enacted in all kinds of public spaces, from theme parks to sports venues and rock concerts," he said. "Regal has decided to make a concerted effort to show their patrons that they’re aware of security issues . . . I don’t think anyone is going to stay away from a movie theater because of increased security measures. If anything, they’re going to appreciate it."

Others pointed out the potential problems with theater security checks.

"It’s a pretty big thing to ask for 16-year-old employees to search through bags for possible firearms. This kind of changes the duties of a theater employee from making popcorn and sweeping floors to basically being a low-rent security guard. Maybe this falls to the manager of the theater to search," said Jeff Bock, box office analyst for theater-industry research firm Exhibitor Relations.

"We now have to deal with the consequences of what if they find something in the bag. Obviously, all the people who sneak in Subway sandwiches are going to be mortified . . . Maybe that’s the Regal ulterior motive. Stopping illegal Milk Duds from getting into theaters."

 


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Regal Cinemas, the largest movie theater chain in the U.S., announced this week that it will begin checking bags for safety purposes.
regal cinemas, checking, bags, shootings
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2015-04-20
Thursday, 20 Aug 2015 01:04 PM
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