Regal movie-goers may be subject to bag search

Regal Entertainment Group has posted signs outside their theaters that say, "For the safety and comfort of all our guests, backpacks and bags of any kind are subject to inspection prior to entry to this facility."

 (WBIR – KNOXVILLE) Two weeks after at attack on a movie theater in Antioch, Tenn., moviegoers in Knoxville are noticing new security measures.

Theaters owned by Knoxville-based Regal Entertainment Group have posted signs out front warning patrons that "backpacks and bags of any kind are subject to inspection..."

On their website, Regal claims to be the largest theater chain in the country, operating more than 500 theaters in 42 states. Representatives of the company have not responded to repeated requests for comment.

Elaine Seavers bought a ticket at the Regal theater in downtown Knoxville Wednesday. She said if bag searches keep her safer, she's on board.

 

"We've had people smuggle in guns and kill people around the country," she said. "I can't see where it would hurt."

Many questions are still unanswered about the policy, including who will be searching bags, and what training they will receive.

Regal outlines the plan on their website.

"Security issues have become a daily part of our lives in America," the page reads. "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."

It's unclear when the policy was updated. The post continues:

"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."

WBIR viewers have raised questions about the policy as well.

"Won't stop a gun being brought into the building," wrote Doug Atkins.

"Honestly that's fine with me... But are they gonna call me out for my snacks?" posted Brittany Thompson.

Kim Mcdonald Reeves added that she thinks "…metal detectors would be a better investment of time."

Regal has not commented on any use of electronic screening equipment, or what will happen if a gun is discovered.

Still, Seavers said it gives her a little more peace of mind.

"I was recently talking to a co-worker about going to a movie, and she said, 'I'm not going to a movie theater, people have been shooting,'" Seavers said.

WBIR will update this developing story with Regal's comment on the policy.

 

ORIGINAL STORY: Recent attacks on several movie theaters in the United States may have prompted a response from one of the country's largest theater chains.

Regal Entertainment Group has posted signs outside their theaters that say, "For the safety and comfort of all our guests, backpacks and bags of any kind are subject to inspection prior to entry to this facility."

No one with the Knoxville-based company would speak to WBIR about the policy, so it's unclear when the policy started.

Several posters to the WBIR Facebook page said their purses were searched in the last few weeks.

Regal stated 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 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."

To view all of Regal Entertainment Group's admittance procedures, go to its website.


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