Open Forum Friday: Should Movie Theatres Increase Security Measures?


The topic of movie theatre security is once again on the minds of American moviegoers and theatre owners following attacks in both Lafayette, Louisiana and Nashville, Tennessee this summer. It was three years ago that James Holmes shot and killed 12 people during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado and at the time nothing was done to prevent a similar attack from happening again. This time around, however, there seems to be increased pressure to enhance security with some people even calling for the addition of metal detectors or armed guards. What remains somewhat unclear, however, is if this is actually something the average moviegoer wants and whether they would be willing to pay for it.

This week Regal Cinemas have announced that they will start checking bags on the way into the theatre. Other chains have yet to follow suit, but you can bet they will be watching to see how people react. It’s a small step toward improving safety, but the last thing they want to do is make going to to movies more expensive or inconvenient than it already is. What do you think? Should movie theatres start implementing the same precautions as concerts and sporting events? Would you be annoyed about extra bag checks or is that a good compromise? Do you feel safe when you go to the movies or are there major changes needed? Give us your thoughts here on Open Forum Friday.

  • Lori Cerny

    There’s occasional fights at my local theater – usually high school kids. Bag checks would be okay by me, but it where am I going to hide my snacks?

  • Ianto_Jones

    Yes they should all have extremely strict and nasty security checkpoints just like the TSA at airports. That way the mafia-run movie exhibitor racket will go out of business and we can move on to more modern forms of movie watching like direct to VOD releases.

  • Nathan H

    Ah yes, nothing like replicating the enjoyment of going to the airport when seeing a movie. Shootings and fistfights are going to put the nail in the coffin of chain theaters.

  • Glen

    The movie theatres in those “Right to Carry” states are going to have some interesting discussions during the bag checks.

  • Justin H

    Just waiting for guys to start milling around in theater lobbies here in Texas with their AR-15s.

  • munieq11

    Why the hell should they have to do this? The gun rights in US are insane. Get rid of that shit.

  • Sean

    To be fair, the guy in Nashville only had a pellet gun and an axe.

  • LordAwesome

    I’d wager that statistically movie theatres are still one of the safest places entertainment you can go to.

  • Bandit Manatee

    As has been mentioned so far… bag checks almost feel like an attempt to crack down on contraband candy rather than making people safe.

    I don’t want anyone to get hurt or killed at the movies, but someone please calculate how many screenings happen each year in just the U.S. and compare to how many incidents have happened and it’s pretty low. Theaters should be careful about overreacting and causing some people to stay home.

  • Indianamcclain

    Get a jacket with a very large pocket in the interior. That’s what I have, and it works every time.

  • devolutionary

    Wow, this seems oddly prescient to Matt Gamble’s post last month.
    Considering he actually works at one because he chooses to.

  • Matt the Kiwi

    Agreed, there’s little point putting in security at movies theatres as it doesn’t stop people getting killed…it just means they’ll get killed somewhere else (in the carpark outside the theatre, in the pizza place next door, at the supermarket). They get need to focus on the cause rather than treat the symptoms. Their obsession with guns is baffling.

  • Can’t go to Regal anymore because they’ll find my bag of Combos and Kit-Kats and the can of Budweiser. Ah well. AMC it is then.

  • I would have said the opera, but people are always getting assassinated.

  • The Regal that we go to has employed armed security guards for the last year or so, at least for weekend nighttime screenings.

  • Anthony

    Direct to VOD releases of huge movies that would have otherwise been released in theatres will cost like $50 to factor in people watching it in groups at one person’s home.

  • munieq11

    “only”. Still much more than he should have. I can’t even think of this happening in the UK (I am sure it does however).