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TOPIC: Is Proper Theatre Security Just Too Expensive?

Is Proper Theatre Security Just Too Expensive? 24 Jan 2013 18:59 #39706

  • muviebuf
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It would seem so.

DENVER POST ARTICLE (For some reason the article would not paste)

Few visible changes in theater security have taken place since the Aurora shootings last July.

Movie-theater chains aren't saying what changes they've made, if any. They say any disclosure of security protocols would compromise their effectiveness.

From a customer perspective, changes are low-key. Some patrons report that they see more walk-throughs by theater staffers during movies. Exit doors are checked more often. Pre-film announcements asking customers to identify emergency exits may be more noticeable and detailed.

"In most cases, it's cosmetic," said Howard Levinson, a Massachusetts security consultant who has designed systems for movie theaters. "There will be some short-term changes in what people see."

Like other major theater operators, Regal Entertainment Group declined to speak about specific security procedures. But a Regal official noted that, after the Aurora shootings, the chain began showing a pre-film video message in Denver-area theaters that shows the locations of emergency exits.

Normally, a less-specific trailer is shown that tells patrons, "In case of emergency, please proceed to the nearest exit."

The new trailer was requested by the Denver Fire Department. Regal also changed theater policies to prohibit customers from wearing masks or carrying fake weapons or other props.

In Colorado, Regal Entertainment operates Regal Cinemas and United Artists Theatres.

Security measures such as hiring armed guards and installing sophisticated surveillance equipment may be considered too expensive for the theater industry, which generally operates on low profit margins, analysts said.

"It all comes down to dollars and cents," Levinson said. "Having an armed police officer is pretty expensive."

Several security consultants contacted by The Denver Post said a basic component of theater security should be the use of alarms or electronic monitors on exit doors.

Prosecutors say shooting suspect James Holmes was able to bring weapons into Cinemark's Century Aurora 16 theater by propping open an exit door.

"Such doors should not be accessible from the outside, should alarm when opened and should be under some sort of surveillance such as video cameras," said Dick Sem, president of Sem Security Management in Lake Geneva, Wis.

Massachusetts security consultant Todd McGhee of Protecting the Homeland Innovations said theaters face difficult choices in adopting procedures that are effective but not too expensive and unwieldy.

Walk-through magnetometers, he said, are costly and staff-intensive and require regular maintenance.

Use of metal-detecting wands slows the flow of customers. Unarmed security guards provide only limited deterrence.

A potentially effective measure, McGhee said, is use of software that flags unusual ticket-buying patterns such as a single ticket being purchased far in advance of the screening. Holmes is believed to have purchased his single ticket almost two weeks before the July 20 screening.

Autumn Stringer of Denver, attending a recent matinee screening at the Denver Pavilions United Artists multiplex, said she has noticed the trailer showing detailed exit-door information.

"For the longest time, I was just too nervous to go to a movie," Stringer said. "Now I'm still nervous, so I don't go to any of the really busy times."



Read more: Patrons, analysts see few changes in movie theater security - The Denver Post www.denverpost.com/business/ci_22406131/...curity#ixzz2IvDYV9Th
Last Edit: 24 Jan 2013 19:15 by muviebuf.
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Is Proper Theatre Security Just Too Expensive? 25 Jan 2013 01:09 #39707

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What about searching everyones bags and purses as they enter the theatre?

would this be a good idea or bad?
I know what 'I' think, just wonder if anyone has or is doing this now?
Tony
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Is Proper Theatre Security Just Too Expensive? 25 Jan 2013 20:35 #39710

  • revrobor
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I believe if a theatre posted an obvious sign saying something like "As a condition of admission to this facility all back packs, bags and purses are subject to search" the staff would be legally able to search them. It probably depends on state laws. Otherwise you're going to run into the "invasion of privacy" thing.
Bob Allen
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Is Proper Theatre Security Just Too Expensive? 28 Jan 2013 18:02 #39711

  • Mike
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anticipating where lightning strikes is a fools errand.
Michael Hurley
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Is Proper Theatre Security Just Too Expensive? 28 Jan 2013 18:19 #39712

  • lionheart
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If your theater is searching purses and bags while the competition is not, you will probably lose business to that competition. It would convey the idea that your theater is not a safe place. It's just like trying to get people to stay in a motel with bars on the windows. It keeps them safe, but lets them know that the motel is in a bad neighborhood.

Some customers might appreciate added security, but most will only view it as an invasion of privacy. Who likes to take their shoes off at the airport? We may understand, but we still grumble about it.

Besides, even if people have no guns to hide, they still may not want you to see other stuff in their bags, such as snacks, medication, drugs, sanitary napkins and tampons, adult undergarments, etc. Not to mention you could disorganize the contents, put your germs inside, and make them late for the movie... gasp!
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Is Proper Theatre Security Just Too Expensive? 29 Jan 2013 16:05 #39714

  • Bob Nash
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Lionheart: very well said.
Bob
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Is Proper Theatre Security Just Too Expensive? 30 Jan 2013 01:00 #39715

  • ttroidl
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Thank God, Thats pretty much how 'I' felt about it too! just wanted other opinions.
We DO have a local theatre doing just that and I can't imagine it's going over well with the public!
tony.
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Is Proper Theatre Security Just Too Expensive? 31 Jan 2013 16:30 #39720

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some theatres are in very dangerous neighborhoods and they know where they are and they have to take steps to be safe. If a small % of your patrons are dangerous people with guns you don't need a good guy with a gun; you need to keep them out. We do not have this problem in my theatres. We are small town. Someone who is crazy has 100's of targets of opportunity: super market, Wal-Mart, church, school, parade, plays, swim meet... unless the intention is to maintain a constant armed camp ...and even then... it will not defend. Attackers and crazy people have the advantage of initiative and surprise. We hired a guard for a while... just to be safe. I would rather close than start searching people. I don't know about your town but we are not populated with sheep in my corner of the world. They would not tolerate being searched.
Michael Hurley
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Is Proper Theatre Security Just Too Expensive? 31 Jan 2013 16:52 #39722

  • rodeojack
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A problem with this thinking is the notion you can predict all possible ways to thwart the creativity of another.

The idea that every theatre in the country will have enough security to monitor all auditoriums is difficult to imagine, as is the notion that a common employee would be much help in an emergency. The theatre would trade liability to the minimum-wage employee for any injuries he / she suffered in preventing a customer from the same fate. Score zero for the theatre.

A reasonably observant person could determine the habits of theatre staff in fairly short order. For the most part, theatres are ignoring the fact that people spend half the day in their buildings, wandering from movie to movie. Why not start there? Oh yah... staff tends to avoid confrontation.

The bag search would be intrusive and likely not successful. Didn't that guy walk out the exit and come back in with the gun(s)? How would a search have helped there? Who would have dropped what they were doing at the sound of a door alarm and run full-tilt into an auditorium to investigate? Lots of theatres have that feature now.

While you don't necessarily set yourself up for a problem when you go to a movie, there are plenty of other public venues that could have provided the same opportunity. The system just does not support being able to transfer all liability for your personal safety to someone else. Heck. We've had 2 or 3 people fall, or get pushed onto subway tracks in New York lately, and a crazy guy just shot a school bus driver and pulled a kid off the bus. Do we now rebuild all subway tunnels and put armed security on all school buses?
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Is Proper Theatre Security Just Too Expensive? 03 Feb 2013 18:00 #39726

  • Ptwin
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we have a door alarm on one door, mostly so people walk out with 3D glasses, we intend on putting them on all others, two things that will trigger panic in people since aurora is if someone goes out the exit door before the movie enxs and large bags and backpacks. We got bag tags and we have people fill out the tag with name and phone # and they have a tag with a claim number , since we have alot of students and walking traffic, we couldnt completly ban them. peoe are cooperative and check the bags in, we dont search them, we dont bother with purses or diaper bags. we felt this shows we are doing something but not too evasive. we have our staff watching closer for suspicious behavior.
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Is Proper Theatre Security Just Too Expensive? 06 Feb 2013 00:23 #39745

  • slapintheface
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Yes -- you can never secure your theatre 100% or for that matter 50 %.
Anyone who wants to pull A gun is going to do it and no bag check , search is going to stop that . If you search someone that wants to do harm and they have A gun , then what ?? They just going to walk away , nope don't think so !!!
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Is Proper Theatre Security Just Too Expensive? 06 Feb 2013 16:31 #39747

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I am a gun owner. There are just too many guns.
Michael Hurley
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Is Proper Theatre Security Just Too Expensive? 08 Mar 2013 03:09 #39804

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Crazy thing is it's a VERY small town, no issues really... Have no idea what the owners are thinking, sounds like a REAL bad idea to me, but then they have pretty poor customer service skills there anyways, LOTS of people are not going there anymore, even the schools go 20 miles away for summer rec shows...
Oh well!
tony.
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Is Proper Theatre Security Just Too Expensive? 29 Mar 2013 18:36 #39862

  • muviebuf
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Jury Sides With Plaintiff in Movie Theater Attack Case
Donahue v. American Multi-Cinema $122,500 Verdict

On February 23, 2010, plaintiff Lori Donahue, 41, and her husband, along with their two adult sons, were attending a film at the American Multi-Cinema Inc. (AMC) theater at the Franklin Mills Mall in Philadelphia.

Donahue alleged that during the course of the film, nearby patrons were using their cellphones, which prompted the Donahues to ask them to stop using their devices. The patrons complied; however, sometime later, they resumed using their phones, which again prompted the Donahues to request them to stop. This triggered an argument between the parties, and the patrons subsequently left the theater.
Donahue alleged that after the movie, she and her family members exited the theater and entered the lobby area, at which time they were jumped and accosted by the patrons' relatives: Doris Salcedo, Francisco Salcedo, Zoranda Echevarria and Alimbu Echevarria.

Donahue claimed that she was initially punched in the head by a large man, which knocked her to the ground. She then got up, at which point she was ambushed by three women who cornered her and began punching her and pulling her hair. The assault lasted for a minute until police officers, who were outside the theater's box office for another incident, intervened. Donahue claimed that she suffered a right (non-dominant) rotator cuff tear and a cervical-disc herniation.
Donahue sued AMC and mall owner Simon Property Group Inc., which was later voluntarily dismissed, on the theory of premises liability (inadequate or negligent security). AMC brought in the alleged assailants as third-party defendants, and they were voluntarily dismissed pretrial after failing to answer a complaint and retain counsel.

According to Donahue, about a year prior to the incident (which was on a weeknight), AMC had at least one security officer in place in its lobby on a daily basis; however, the decision was made to only implement theater security on the weekends. Donahue's counsel maintained that a security guard should have been present in the lobby on the evening of the attack to deter aggressive behavior. Donahue's counsel further faulted AMC for allowing individuals to enter through an exit door and into the theater lobby and loiter there without ever purchasing a ticket. Video surveillance of the attack was played to the jury.

AMC argued that it did not have a duty to provide a security officer on the premises during a weeknight because the small volume of attendees did not warrant security personnel.

The next day, Donahue, with complaints of pain to her neck and right shoulder, presented to an emergency room, where she was examined and released. With no health insurance, Donahue subsequently presented to two other emergency rooms and eventually came under the care of a family-medicine facility in Philadelphia, where she underwent physical therapy for seven months. During that time she was referred to an orthopedic surgeon who ordered an MRI and EMG of her neck and shoulder. The physician diagnosed her with a partial tear of the distal supraspinatus tendon, herniation at C5-6, and radiculopathy, as Donahue experienced radicular pain in her right arm. She was then referred to a shoulder specialist who she could not see because of lack of health coverage. No further treatment was administered.

Donahue's treating orthopedic surgeon testified that she suffered permanent injuries in her neck and shoulder. Donahue said that she continues to experience pain and limitations in her neck and shoulder, which have limited her in performing household activities and recreational activities, such as riding a bike. She also testified that she is reluctant in engaging in social activities with her husband and sons because of anxiety of a future attack. Donahue sought to recover unspecified amounts in non-economic damages for past and future pain and suffering, while her husband sought a consortium claim.
The defense's retained expert in orthopedic surgery agreed that Donahue had physical problems but attributed her injuries to pre-existing, degenerative conditions.

The jury determined that AMC was negligent and its negligence was a factual cause of harm to Donahue, who was awarded an amount of $122,500 — $22,500 for past medical costs and $100,000 in non-economic damages.
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