You will need to add a few extra minutes to your movie-going plans with newly announced security measures in the wake of deadly attacks at movie theater complexes in other parts of the country.
The Regal Entertainment Group, owners of five movie complexes in Fresno, Tulare and Visalia, announced plans to have staff and/or security check bags before admission. Regal did not return telephone calls seeking details about its plans. The company posted this statement on its website:
“Security issues have become a daily part of our lives in America. Regal Entertainment Group wants our customers and staff to feel comfortable and safe when visiting or working in our theaters. 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.”
The action is in response to the gunman who killed two patrons and himself during a showing of “Trainwreck” in Lafayette, Louisiana, in July. Earlier this month, a man with a hatchet and pellet gun released pepper spray at a showing of “Mad Max: Fury Road” in Antioch, Tennessee. In 2012, a gunman killed 12 people during a screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora, Colorado.
The majority of theaters have had some form of security in place for years. But it has been aimed more at stopping people from sneaking cameras into the theaters to create bootleg versions of new films.
Now, the focus is more on safety.
Management with the Santa Rosa Entertainment Group, owners of the Sierra Vista Cinemas 16 in Clovis, are trying to decided how to make theater-goers feel safe without creating so much security that they feel uncomfortable.
“We already do a random check of bags. We have been discussing if we want to change that at all,” says Neil Pearlmutter Santa Rosa Entertainment Group vice president..
Maya Cinemas Vice President Lawrence J. Porricelli says the company doesn’t talk about its security policies other than to say “security and comfort is a primary interest.” The company owns the new Maya Cinemas Fresno 16 by Fresno State.