In response to recent violence in movie theaters around the country, Regal Entertainment Group has begun checking bags. The company has acknowledged on its website the new policy is “not without flaws” and would be an inconvenience to moviegoers, but would provide better security.
As Fox News points out, it’s unclear when the policy began, but there have been reports on several local TV stations in Florida, Virginia, Ohio, and Texas that customers noticed the bag searching starting at the beginning of August.
Regal Entertainment group isn’t the only theater chain to heighten security in response to the recent attacks in theaters. National Amusements Inc.’s Showcase chain has stated on its website that backpacks and packages are banned from their theaters – about 30 total in northeastern U.S. – and they reserve the right to search bags and purses. The policy began on August 7, and will be in place “for the time being.”
Meanwhile, other chains including Carmike and Cinemark are not responding to requests for comment from news outlets. AMC Theaters spokesman Ryan Noonan said, “we don’t comment on security measures publicly.”
The recent rash of violence began in Lafayette, Louisiana, when three people were shot and killed during a showing of Trainwreck last month; followed by an attack at a theater in Nashville where a hatchet wielding man was killed by police during a screening of Mad Max: Fury Road.
As The Washington Post reports, “all of the movie theater attacks hearken back” to the 2012 massacre in Aurora Colorado where James Holmes opened fire in a crowded theater at a midnight showing of Dark Knight. Holmes was later found guilty and sentenced to life in prison.
“Security issues have become a daily part of our lives in America,” the statement on the Regal Entertainment Group website says. The company states the new policies are to make their employees and customers feel safe when inside the theaters.
Security issues have become a daily part of our lives in America. Regal Entertainment Group wants our customers and staff to feel comfortable and safe when visiting or working in our theatres. 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.