Regal Cinemas is now posting a policy that they will search the bags of patrons wishing to watch movies in their establishments.
Debate is brewing over a major security change to protect you at the movies.
Local 6 has learned in response to the recent attacks at theaters across the country, Regal Cinemas is now searching customers before allowing anyone inside.
A printed sign hangs in the front ticket counter at Regal Cinemas Winter Park Village 20 alerting customers to the change.
The sign reads, “For the safety and comfort of all our guests: Backpacks and bags of any kind are subject to inspection prior to entry to this facility.”
The manager confirms this is a new corporate security policy. Workers said it comes after the recent spat of theater shootings; one in Lafayette, Louisiana and another outside Nashville, Tennessee.
It’s a policy change that some welcome, with some guests saying bags are also checked at places like Walt Disney World and college football games.
“It’s probably just a reaction, and then as time goes on, they’ll just stop doing it eventually,” Alexandra Hernandez said.
On Regal’s Facebook page, backlash came quickly from across the country with some complaining about medical safety issues, and others about conceal carry gun rights.
One woman posted on the company’s Facebook page, “Just returned 2 movie tickets because ticket collector wanted to check my bag for a gun… Didn’t ask to frisk my husband who was also carrying so i guess your policy isn’t flawless.”
I’m sure the bored teenagers that are tasked to conduct these bag checks are thrilled with their new role as bag screeners, which will no doubt result in customer anger, claims of racial profiling, and (not unwarranted) charges of sexism.
This “security theater” (pardon the pun) is of course absurd, as most people who do carry firearms typically carry them on their bodies. Those who carry off-body make up a small fraction of both legal concealed carriers and criminals. I’d also be willing to bet real money that Regal’s policy doesn’t have the first clue how to search a purpose-designed concealed carry purse or bag, and that theater goers will have no problem whatsoever using them to get firearms into theaters if they so desire.
This is not a serious attempt at security by Regal Cinemas… so what is really going on?
If Regal Cinemas actually cared about the safety of their customers, they would take steps to end laws that create “gun free zones,” which is where 93% of all mass shootings take place. They have not done so.
It is far more likely that Regal’s new bag search policy is designed to protect something else… their concessions profits.
The bag search policy is much more likely aimed at keeping young mothers from bringing in low-cost, healthy snacks and drinks for their children hidden in their purses or diaper bags. If a young mother brings in snack bags of trail mix and bottles of water or natural juices in her purse to feed her Pixar-fixated progeny, Regal misses out on fleecing her out of another $20 in stale popcorn and tooth-rotting sugar water.
This bit of security theater by Regal Cinemas is a cynical one, and seems focused on helping their profits, not saving customer lives.