How Far are You Willing to Go for Movie Theater Security?
- By Ginger Hill
- Aug 07, 2015
Have you seen the new movie preview? There’s a family of four, a father, mother, son and daughter and they’re heading into the theater for a little family time to see “Shaun the Sheep Movie.” Only before they’re allowed to purchase their popcorn and soda, they must pass through a metal detector and endure a pat down. Oh wait! That could soon be a reality!
According to research firm C4, nearly 1/3 of moviegoers in America are willing to endure metal detectors and pat downs to ensure a safe movie experience in the recent wake of deadly theater violence. Another random attack occurred just this past Wednesday in Tennessee when 29-year-old Vincente David Montano, armed with an airsoft pellet gun, pepper spray and an ax, ambushed moviegoers during an afternoon screening of “Mad Max: Fury Road.” No serious injuries were reported and Montano was killed by police.
And, lest we forget the Lafayette movie theater incident, where a gunman shot 11 people, killing two of them, before turning the gun on himself. How about the fatal shooting of a Florida man who was texting during a movie? And, who can forget the gunman James Holmes in Colorado who killed 12 people in a movie theater in 2012?
While these are all random incidents, just think, with that randomness comes the possibility that a shooting could happen in a movie theater close to you. So, are metal detectors and pat downs the answer to a safe movie going experience? According to security expert Michael Dorn, the answer is no. Here’s why:
- It would cost anywhere from $250,000 to $1 million for a multiplex theater to install such equipment;
- Armed officers must be on staff to man the equipment, so theaters would have to pay them a yearly salary;
- Metal detection could give moviegoers a false sense of security; and
- Longer wait times outside the theater could present a new target to those staging attacks.
Dorn suggests hiring law enforcement and armed security personnel to guard movie theater lobbies and parking lots.
What do you think is the answer to movie theater security?
Ginger Hill is Group Social Media Manager.