Mass shootings, once the subject of around-the-clock national news coverage, have become so commonplace in the U.S. that the crowdsourced database Mass Shootings Tracker lists one for virtually every day so far in 2015, most of them unknown outside of the local areas in which they occurred. One of the more high-profile massacres in recent months was at a movie theater in Lafayette, Louisiana, where a man killed two people and injured nine others before killing himself at a screening of the Amy Schumer rom-com Trainwreck. (Schumer has since partnered with Senator Chuck Schumer in support of anti-gun legislation.)
Combined with the recent sentencing of Aurora shooter James Holmes, as well as another recent incident where a man attacked theatergoers with pepper spray, a hatchet, and a pellet gun in Tennessee, it’s enough to make the simple act of going to the movies scarier than your average late-summer horror flick. There are bigger factors at work here, of course, but movie-theater chain Regal Cinemas is attempting to address the problem on a practical level with a new bag check policy for all of its theaters.
According to a statement on the company’s website, any bag or backpack belonging to a Regal Cinemas patron is now subject for inspection upon entering the theater:
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 theaters … 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.
On a lighter note, thrifty moms everywhere are now going to have to develop James Bond-level concealment skills in order to sneak homemade snacks into Saturday afternoon matinees.