After two deadly movie shootings shook the nation this year, Regal Cinemas is adding extra security measures to keep its patrons safe. From now on, moviegoers will have their bags checked before entering the theater. The new safety measure comes just after a report revealed that nearly half of moviegoers wouldn’t mind paying a little extra for added security and peace of mind.
Of those surveyed, 48 percent said they would be willing to pay $1 extra for more security including metal detectors and armed guards. However, that percentage dropped to 23 percent when upped to $2 more on ticket prices.
“Moviegoers are telling us that they’re starting to see the value of security,” said Ben Spergel, executive vice president of the research firm C4. “Hopefully they’re beginning to value it the same amount that they value Imax or 3D, where they recognize that you have to pay more for a better experience. You may also have to pay more for a safer experience,” Spergel told Variety.
Regal Cinemas has not disclosed whether or not the added security will be seen in their ticket prices, but it seems highly likely. The cinema is the first of theaters to make this move as more and more moviegoers are concerned about safety.
“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,” read a statement from the company.
Last month, a Lafayette, LA, man shot a woman inside a darkened theater before killing himself, spreading fear and panic across the audience. This month, in Nashville,TN, another man maced moviegoers and pulled out a hatchet, attacking customers before being shot and killed by the police.
The wake of violence is causing theaters to rethink their security strategy and more companies are sure to enforce the new measure. This may certainly mean no more Chiptole in your oversized bag, but what’s a meal when your life is being saved?
Are you willing to pay more for added security at theaters?