(CBS) — Regal Cinemas — with nine locations in the city and suburbs — says a new layer of security is in response to recent tragedies.
CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole reports on a procedure that began within the last few weeks.READ MORE: COVID-19 In Illinois: More Than 3 Million Residents Fully Vaccinated, But Cases And Hospitalizations Still Up Significantly Over Past Month
At the North Side Regal cinema on Thursday, the violence was fictional and onscreen. But to guard against real danger, patrons were greeted by a sign at the door, saying for the safety and comfort of guests backpacks and bags of any kind are subject to inspections.
“They just asked us to open up our purse to check inside,” says Ellen Schatz of Lincoln Park, who say a children’s matinee of “Minions.” “When we walked in to hand the ticket to the woman, I unzipped it and she looked at it and that was it.”
CBS 2 purchased tickets at the multiplex. Cinema staff, not security guards, were checking bags of anyone attending the showings.READ MORE: Preparation Work Begins In Jackson Park Ahead Of Fall Groundbreaking For Obama Presidential Center
Schatz said the person who checked her bag didn’t really look ready to take action if she found something suspicious.
“She was a very young person,” she says.
Regal acknowledges the system is not without flaws. It follows the recent killings of two moviegoers in Louisiana, a Nashville cinema attack by a man armed with a hatchet and the 2012 Colorado theater shootings that killed 12 and injured 70.
Don Serpico and others today welcomed and understood the policy. He says he’s used to searches when he goes to White Sox games.MORE NEWS: Bell-Ringing Ceremony Honors Chicago Firefighter Edward Singleton
“I’m just a movie buff, so I’ll go no matter what,” he says.