Local movie theaters are tightening security in response to a string of deadly shootings across the country.
Regal Entertainment Group – which operates some 580 theaters around the country, including locations in Waterbury, Branford, Waterford and Stonington – has adopted a new policy requiring bags and backpacks to be searched before moviegoers are admitted.
The changes took effect after a gunman opened fire during a screening of the film “Trainwreck” in Lafayette, Louisiana, last month, killing two people and injuring nine before turning the gun on himself.
Less than two weeks later, police shot and killed a man with a history of mental health problems who tried to attack moviegoers in Nashville, Tennessee, with a hatchet and pepper spray, CNBC reports.
"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," Regal’s admittance procedures now read.
Showcase Cinemas, owned by National Amusements, has taken it a step further and banned backpacks and packages altogether. The chain operates three locations in Connecticut: Bridgeport, North Haven and Plantsville.
Connecticut moviegoers told NBC Connecticut they understand why the changes are necessary.
With the current events that have been going on and the issues that unfortunately that have happened in movie theaters across the country, I think it's a really good idea," said Madison resident Ian Connor.