Should theaters have additional security?

Celebration! Cinema

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The movie theater shooting in Louisiana happened almost exactly three years after James Holmes opened fire in a Colorado theater, killing 12 and injuring dozens more.

Now, many movie-goers are demanding more security at theaters — and reaching out to major theater chains through social media.

There are calls for armed security, baggage checks — even metal detectors at the doors.

“Please be vigilant!! No more tragedies at a place where people pay to enjoy theirselves with the company of others! Hire armed security, purchase metal detectors and have baggage checked on EVERYONE at all your locations!! Take No chances!! Praying for Lafayette, La!! ALL LIVES MATTER,” one user commented on Regal Cinemas’ Facebook page.

“Will you be increasing security measures or using detectors in response to the shootings? Lord knows our politicians will stand by and do nothing as they more guns everywhere, anywhere, anytime,” another person posted on Regal Cinemas’ Facebok page.

“With all the violence at theaters you guys should have metal detectors or have direct to TV movie service available. My family does not want to go to the theatre anymore,” a user commented on AMC Theatres’ Facebook page.

“It’s shocking,” Dan Taylor said of the shooting. “It doesn’t happen that often in a movie theater or regular public place like that.”

Taylor owns two small theaters in West Michigan — Fremont Cinemas and Harbor Cinema in Muskegon.

He says the shootings are rare, isolated incidents, and that no theater — big or small — should get too carried away with added security.

“I don’t know if I’d go so far as to say metal detectors or anything like that. I don’t think that you really want to start invading people’s personal space when it comes to entertainment and things like that. And it might actually deter people from going to the movies,” said Taylor.

Taylor says the tragedy should serve as a reminder for theater employees to keep an eye out for strange activity.

But, if theaters do up their security, the question then is — do you add those same measures everywhere else?

“I guess you run that risk anywhere you go… Shopping malls, anywhere to do any kind of entertainment. I think people just need to be more vigilant about what’s going on around them and kind of pay attention more and report suspicious things,” Taylor said.

24 Hour News 8 did reach out to many of the major theater chains today — including Celebration! Cinema and AMC Theatres.

None of their representatives wanted to talk on camera about the shooting, or theater security.

But a handful of them did issue statements, all expressing their condolences to the families of the victims in the Louisiana shooting.

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