In a reflection of the times, Regal, the national's largest movie-theater chain and operators of the Edwards Boise 22 and Edwards Boise Downtown, has announced it will step up security measures— even checking moviegoers' backpacks and bags—at some of its theaters.
The policy change comes in the shadow of two unrelated movie theater attacks this summer and the recent conviction of gunman James Holmes, who killed 12 people in a mass shooting at a Colorado movie theater in 2012.
"Security issues have become a daily part of our lives in America,” the company stated on its website. “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 Regal chain of cineplexes includes 7,300 screens across America. Company officials were reluctant to say when and where the searches would commence, but USA Today reports some customers in the Southeast United States had already had their purses searched at Regal theaters. Additionally, a Houston television station reports that moviegoers there were also being searched.