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Country's Biggest Theater Chain Now Checking Bags

Regal says it has to ensure safety of guests, workers
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 20, 2015 12:40 AM CDT
Country's Biggest Theater Chain Now Checking Bags
People walk past a sign for "The Dark Knight Rises" at Regal Cinemas at Crossgates Mall in Albany, NY, on July 20, 2012.   (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

(Newser) – The country's biggest theater chain has announced that all moviegoers can expect to have their bags searched on entry—and it isn't looking for illicit snacks. Instead, Regal Cinemas says on its website that since "security issues have become a daily part of our lives in America," searches will be carried out to ensure the "safety of our guests and employees," Entertainment Weekly reports. The move at the chain, which has around 7,300 screens nationwide, comes after recent theater attacks in Louisiana and Tennessee, which happened three years after James Holmes massacred 12 people in a Colorado theater, EW notes.

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An analyst for entertainment research firm Rentrak tells USA Today that since people are already used to having their bags searched at places like stadiums, Regal's move probably won't affect movie attendances. "I don't think anyone is going to stay away from a movie theater because of increased security measures," he says. "If anything, they're going to appreciate it." Other analysts, however, say the move seems a little "undercooked" and wonder if Regal is training employees on how to react if they do find a gun in a patron's bag. (At a California theater, a "prankster" carrying a leaf blower caused a stampede.)

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