After two unrelated movie theater attacks this summer, the country’s largest theater chain Regal Cinemas announced that it will step up its security measures and begin checking moviegoers’ bags at the entrance.
“Security issues have become a daily part of our lives in America,” said the company in a statement on its website. “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.”
It’s not clear whether the company will increase ticket prices in order to pay for the added security or whether other theater chains will follow suit. Similar measures have been in place at sporting events and concerts for years.
The moves follow two movie theater attacks this summer. At the end of July a gunman killed two women and himself at a theater in Lafayette, Lousiana. In a separate, unrelated attack in August at a theater near Nashville, Tennessee, a man who attacked moviegoers with pepperspray, a hatchet and a pellet gun was killed by police.
The events occured almost exactly three years after James Holmes, who was recently sentenced to life in prison, opened fire in a Colorado movie theater, killing 12 people.
Calls to Regal were not returned. The National Association of Theater Owners declined to comment on the updated security measures.