Las Vegas moviegoers OK with tighter theater security

Las Vegans utilized to be able to see a brand-new movie without assistants searching through their handbags or knapsacks.

Now those going to a show at one of the 11 Regal movie theaters in the Las Vegas Valley are being stopped on their way from the box office to the theater.

“A girl asked to see my bag,” said Linda Elliot, 77, who saw ‘Ricki and the Flash’ Friday afternoon at the Regal Colonnade 14, 8880 S. Eastern Ave. in Henderson. “Then she opened it and looked through it.”

The majority of the almost two-dozen moviegoers spoken with by the Review-Journal believed the brand-new security procedures that began as recently as three weeks earlier were performed in response to cinema shootings in Aurora, Colo., Lafayette, La., and most just recently, Antioch, Tenn. A total of 15 people passed away in the 3 shootings, and 79 more were hurt.

“When there’s two theater shootings in two weeks, it’s no coincidence they’re including more security,” stated Juliana Duarte, a frequent spectator at the Regal Boulder Station Arena 11 on Boulder Highway. “I believe people get it, and they understand why theaters are doing it.”

Duarte, 45, and her sibling, Maria Duarte, 48, said they visit the east valley theater at least twice a month. Though they saw “Objective Impossible– Rogue Country” there on Aug. 1, it wasn’t till Friday’s showing of “Gunman: Representative 47” that they needed to stop and open their bags.

“We had actually never ever been asked that before,” Maria Duarte stated in Spanish. “However I guess it signifies the times. It’s just how things are now in this country.”

With over 7,000 screens across the nation and nearly 200 in the Las Vegas Valley alone, Regal is the nation’s largest cinema chain.

The Knoxville, Tenn.-based business didn’t return several Review-Journal requests for comment, leaving unanswered concerns on why the company selected only bags instead of other short articles of clothing to browse, and how the unarmed workers are trained to react if they find a weapon.

A sign reading “Backpacks and bags of any kind go through EVALUATION prior to entry to this center” was published on the front doors of their theaters throughout the valley.

A statement on the company’s website likewise stated the brand-new security policy was developed to assist “consumers and staff to feel comfy and safe when seeing or working in our theaters.”

“To make sure the safety of our guests and employees, backpacks and bags of any kind go through evaluation prior to admission,” the statement reads. “We acknowledge that this procedure can trigger some inconvenience which it is not without flaws, however really hope these are small in contrast to increased security.”

The modifications didn’t go without notification from Friday’s customers. But the majority of them stated they understood the new policies, and, for the many part, didn’t mind them.

“It’s much like when you enter into a ballgame or something like that. Exact same idea,” Elliot said.

“I do not think it’s a bad idea at all,” stated Sarah Back, 72, likewise at at the Regal Colonnade in Henderson. “It’s not such as the airport or anything.”

Aurelio Cortez, 28, who saw “Straight Outta Compton” Friday afternoon at Regal Red Rock Arena 16, stated he avoided “over-thinking” the brand-new security measure when he opened his bag for an attendant who was collecting his ticket.

“You simply can’t think about the possibility of that taking place, because otherwise you wouldn’t go out anywhere,” Cortez stated.

“At the end of the day, it’s not much to ask for individuals to open their bags,” he included. “It’s easy, and I ‘d much rather have it if it avoids a gunman from getting in.”

Contact Chris Kudialis at ckudialis@reviewjournal.com!.?.! or 702-383-0283. Discover him on Twitter: @kudialisrj

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