Chain of Movie Houses Branches Out to Security Theater

Regal Cinemas Branches Out to Security Theater
NRA - Institute for Legislative Action
NRA – Institute for Legislative Action

Fairfax, VA -(AmmoLand.com)- Thanks to a new emphasis on searching the bags of moviegoers, the Regal Cinemas chain is treating its customers to its own brand of security theater.

According to a story appearing on NPR, the theater chain has always reserved the right to inspect backpacks and the like to intercept bootleg food and drinks. Now, however, the company is claiming ticket takers will be routinely conducting searches of all bags “to ensure the safety of our guests and employees.”

Regal’s revised notice of bag inspections appears on the company’s website. It states:

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.

The changes, of course, follow a number of high-profile acts of violence in movie theatres. To be clear, NRA appreciates that businesses like Regal that host the public have legitimate security concerns. We do not believe, however, that “bag checks” by theatre personnel with no security expertise or training have any effective or plausible relationship to public safety.

First, anybody seriously intent on doing harm can easily barge past the unarmed ticket taker. Second, the policy only extends to bags. It does not include pat downs or magnetometers to determine if customers are carrying contraband or weapons on their persons. Third, ticket takers may not even recognize certain types of weapons or bags with hidden pockets or compartments. Certainly, with patrons eager to get be seated, movie personnel will not have much time to conduct their newly-added duty. Fifth, in one of the most notorious examples of violence in a movie theatre, in Aurora, Colo., the assailant did not bring his weapons in through the lobby. Rather, he waited until the movie started, left through an emergency exit that he propped open, and re-entered the theater with armaments he had stashed in a nearby vehicle.

It’s clear that Regal’s policy is intended to create an impression that it is “doing something” to prevent violence on its premises. In fact, the policy does no such thing. Meanwhile, it will serve to reinforce the common practice amongst movie theaters of banning even the lawful carrying of concealed firearms or other personal protection equipment, items that really could provide a benefit were an attack to occur. It also conditions patrons to believe that their security needs are being provided for by the managers of the property, when in fact they are not.

To the degree Regal’s policy accomplishes anything, it will be to needlessly intrude upon customers’ privacy and provide an advantage to an armed assailant who methodically plots an attack on unsuspecting and disarmed moviegoers.

In the realm of security theater, that is not comedy. It is horror.

About the NRA-ILA:

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the “lobbying” arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

For more information, please visit: www.nra.org. Be sure to follow the NRA on Facebook at NRA on Facebook and Twitter @NRA.

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16 Comments
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Ron Walker
Ron Walker
6 years ago

I will promote Regal Theaters as “Unsafe” for families if asked about movie theaters. After all they just made themselves a very unsafe place advertising to every nut job that they disarm their patrons.

KSM
KSM
6 years ago

If they are not going to frisk what’s the point !!!!!!

Mustapha
Mustapha
6 years ago

Whats wrong with everyone? This is not about taking away rights from intelligent and patriotic people like yourselves (that’s the governments job!), this is about protecting us from the minority of lunatics.. I for one will enjoy a movie knowing that there is a better chance that a madman is not lurking in the dark.. even if I do have my own weapon strapped to my ankle.

justtryit
justtryit
6 years ago

Hey Regal-no more movie go’rs and NO MONEY HONEY! Maybe the only shows they can put on for Dem Ol’ Cats is watchin’ BHO tack drivin’ his pal Joey Biden! Oh, excuse me while I go throw-up!

Worn
Worn
6 years ago

If the theater chain said they’re just looking to ensure no one is packing unauthorized Junior Mints, people would surely squawk. But “security” is second only to “It’s for the kids” in excuses for things we hate but tolerate. Regal gets to check for incoming snacks and avoids the bad press by citing “security”. Brilliant.

Sgt. Saxon
Sgt. Saxon
6 years ago
Reply to  Worn

Worn, you are 100% correct. This was a PR stunt that was designed to crack down on lost concession stand sales; it had nothing at all to do with security, merely a red herring. I’m lucky to live in an area where there are four different theaters owned by 4 different owners. Obviously, my patronage will go to that theater that encourages responsible citizens and their right to carry. Having said that, if I were a theater owner, I would discount or comp any active or retired police officer attending any of my shows. I wouldn’t do anything to verify… Read more »

james
james
6 years ago

Useless searching to please those against law abiding citizens.

What is to stop a nut case from walking down to the fire exit and opening the door up to let his BFF
pyscho attacker inside with a backpack of weapons and ammo?

NOTHING.

Alex
Alex
6 years ago

I carry concealed and my weapon stays concealed. My cheeseburgers stay in my cargo pocket along with my bottled soda. Unless they actually frisk me, which it doesn’t say they do, no one will ever know.

George
George
6 years ago

I’ll never waive my rights, so it had be pretty clearly posted BEFORE I buy my ticket, or I will cause a scene. But to be truthful, the last time I went to a theater was to watch The Matrix. They advertised a 12:00PM start time. I was seated by 11:50 and waited for the movie to start. At 12:00, and for the next 45 minutes, I was held captive by ads and trailers for products and movies I had no desire for. Never again. Until theaters are not allowed to engage in false advertising, I will never be back.… Read more »

Herb
Herb
6 years ago

I don’t understand why you don’t feel good about “feel good, do nothing” company “security” policies.

PatrioticInfidelInPA
PatrioticInfidelInPA
6 years ago

Gun free zone = target rich environment. What part of this do they NOT understand!

Al Schmidt
Al Schmidt
6 years ago

Gun Free Zones are really Kill Free Zones. Regal will not see any of my money!

Mike in NC
Mike in NC
6 years ago

The proper response to this theater is to find another place to watch movies. If the customers leave, they go out of business or change their policy. If not, you’re better off not being a sitting duck anyway.

Infidel7.62
Infidel7.62
6 years ago

I have a simple policy, if my gun isn’t welcome then my dollars are not welcome either.

Jesse Scott
Jesse Scott
6 years ago

They won’t be finding my ankle holster. Then again, I just might be the only one armed that could take down the next nutcase.

Janek
Janek
6 years ago

Because of a few miscreants American citizens are now being treated like criminals where ever they go. I’ll watch movies at home rather than be ‘patted down’ like a criminal in a movie theater. I guess “Stop and Frisk” is now becoming ‘universal’?