AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Movie theaters are stepping up security measures, but not all changes include more security guards or police, just an expanded way of using the security they already have in place.
Messages and warnings are beginning to appear at theaters in the Valley and some are checking bags and backpacks.
The heightened security comes in the wake of the recent theater shooting in Louisiana, where three people died and nine were injured.
“When it first happened, we did get a little nervous but who didn’t,” said Costella Harris of Youngstown.
Regal Cinemas is one of those theaters that is trying to help take that nervous feeling away from movie patrons by searching bags. It is a company-wide policy. Theaters in Boardman and Austintown were conducting the searches Friday night.
“They are going to catch a lot of snacks coming in,” said Corey Hayes of Niles.
Harris said she doesn’t mind the extra security measure.
“It shouldn’t be a problem. They are just trying to keep everybody safe. It shouldn’t be an issue for anybody,” Harris said.
Others think going through bags is too personal and would rather see other ways of making sure no one is bringing anything dangerous into the theater.
“I would say like maybe a metal detector would be easier instead of going through people’s personal belongings,” Hayes said.
Hayes doesn’t believe the extra security will be successful, and incidents such the shooting in Louisiana are just random.
“Either you are lucky and it happens when you are not there, or you’re unfortunate and it happens while you are still there,” Hayes said.
Regal Cinema also operates a theater in Niles.