If your trip to the movie theater always involves stuffing a large bag with contraband snacks, that might have to change soon. Cinemark, a major movie theater chain, has just announced a new policy that doesn’t allow for large bags. Although that’s only one chain, it seems inevitable that the policy will catch on and spread. That means your go-to movie theater might soon ban large bags, which is actually really sad.
Cinemark operates about 339 theaters across the country, in states like Louisiana, Texas, and New Jersey, and so far, it seems that only Cinemark theaters are going to be enforcing the bag policy. According to the company’s website, the new rule goes into effect on Thursday, February 22nd.
The company says the policy is “an effort to enhance the safety and security of our guests and employees,” and any bag or package that measures more than 12″ x 12″ x 5″ will not be allowed in. The theaters will make exceptions for medical equipment and diaper bags, though.
Although Cinemark didn’t state what prompted it to do this, one has to assume it’s probably because of shootings at theaters in the past, and recent debates around gun control.
There was the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado, when James Holmes killed 12 and injured 70 at a showing of Dark Knight Rises. There was a shooting at a screening of Trainwreck in Lafayette, Louisiana where three people were killed, and an attack at Mad Max: Fury Road in Nashville, Tennessee where several people were injured.
Those are only the names of a few violent incidents that have occurred in movie theaters. We get the reasoning behind the new policy: the company is trying to keep customers safe. It’s just sad that we’ve gotten to a place where we can’t even feel safe in a movie theater without heavier security.
Many Twitter users have also pointed out that it’s disappointing that new rules have to be imposed on everyone because the government won’t create more strict gun control laws.
But a lot of people think this is about something a lot less serious: sneaking snacks into the theater. Many people who are bringing large bags into the theater are doing so to get contraband food in because theaters charge so much for snacks. A lot of Twitter users feel that Cinemark is using safety as an excuse to increase sales of popcorn and candy:
Whatever the reason, everyone seems to agree that this new policy is a major bummer.