Regal movie theaters begin bag-search policy

Photo: WKRN

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – When you head to the airport or government buildings like Tennessee’s Legislative Plaza, you can expect to have your bags checked.

Now it’s starting to happen at some movie theaters. National theater chain Regal Cinemas announced it will begin checking bags.

Inside the Regal Cinemas in Green Hills, a new sign warns customers of the change.

“We went up to the person who checks your ticket and he just asked to look in my bag,” said Michaela Reynolds.

She went to the movies with her boyfriend Eric Cowart Wednesday. They noticed a change from a few months earlier.

“When we went to see the ‘Avengers,’ I had a purse with me it was actually bigger than this one and they didn’t check it,” said Reynolds.

Regal made the change after the recent attacks in Lafayette, Louisiana, and Antioch, where investigators said Vincente Montano walked into a showing of “Mad Max” and attacked three people.

He was later killed by officers.

“I don’t want anyone coming into my theater shooting me up,” said Cowart, who is in favor of Regal’s new policy.

“I’m not into it,” said Micala Clow from Nashville. She called the new policy “an invasion of privacy.”

“I feel like for women to have a male check your bag it’s a little awkward because I am a woman, no telling what’s in my bag,” said Clow. “If another woman did it, I would probably be a little more comfortable about it.”

Others like Austin Davis don’t like the new policy for very different reasons.

“I sneak Cokes into the theater sometimes, and so now I will have to buy the expensive Coke products if I go,” said Davis.

On its website, Regal writes, “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 world has changed dramatically,” said Davis, a Nashville resident.

The Green Hills Regal Theater is one of seven in Middle Tennessee. Others are in Clarksville, Mt. Juliet, Hendersonville, Tullahoma, 100 Oaks, and the Opry Mills mall.

News 2 called the company with specific questions asking if the search is random or if everyone is searched and when exactly the new policy was implemented, but we haven’t heard back yet.

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