Bag searches at Regal Cinema

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New signs are greeting Stockton moviegoers entering the city’s two Regal Entertainment Group locations – City Centre Cinema 16 and Holiday Cinema 8 – alerting patrons to bag inspections.

enterRegal, a movie theater chai n with hundreds of theaters all across the nation, recently amended its admission policies to include checking all purses and other bags upon entrance into the chain’s theaters.

“To ensure the safety of our guests and employees, backpacks and bags of any kind are subject to inspection prior to admission,” the company announced as part of the Attendance Procedures section on its corporate website, regmovies.com.

Checks are happening locally.

“We check for usual contraband, like alcohol and weapons,” and for “consistency’s sake” all bags are checked by the ticket takers at the door, said Aaron Kumar, a manager at Stockton’s City Centre Cinema 16.

Kumar added the inspections are mainly visual inspections.

“I don’t personally touch the bags,” he said.

Theaters have always reserved the right to check bags for incoming food and drinks, but this updated policy is aimed at discouraging patrons from bringing in weapons.

This change comes after several recent shootings that have taken place in national theaters.

The most recent shooting took place on July 23 in Lafayette, LA and left three people dead, including the shooter John Russell Houser, age 59, and injured nine others.

The new, stricter policy is drawing some criticism.

“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,” according to Regal’s website.

It’s not clear if this will be an effective policy.