Movie theater chain Regal Entertainment Group has begun to check bags in response to shootings at theaters, a procedure it acknowledged was “not without flaws” and would inconvenience guests but provide better security, reports the Associated Press. Customers noticed the change in Texas, Virginia, Florida and Ohio earlier this month. The Knoxville, Tn., company operates 570 theaters around the U.S. On its website, the company says “security issues have become a daily part of our lives in America” and says that bags and backpacks are subject to inspection before entering.
National Amusements Inc.’s Showcase chain, which runs 30 theaters in the northeastern U.S., says it has banned backpacks and packages and reserves the right to search purses and bags. It says the policy, which began Aug. 7, will be in place “for the time being.” This month, a man with a history of mental illness and armed with a pellet gun, hatchet and pepper spray attacked guests at a mostly empty movie theater in Antioch, Tn., before being shot dead by police. Two weeks before that, a man shot and killed two people and wounded nine others before fatally shooting himself during a screening of “Trainwreck” at a theater in Lafayette, La. Last week, security was tight at the Los Angeles premiere of “Straight Outta Compton,” with invited guests required to navigate barricades and pass through metal detectors before picking up their tickets.