We all love going to the movie to catch that block buster movie of the season. We walk in with anticipation and excitement builds as the smell of delicious popcorn fills the air. The ticket taker greets you with enthusiasm and directs you to your designated area where your movie of choice is premiering.
Going to the movies is a great experience. Kids are lauging and people are visiting as they stand in the concession line waiting to purchase their goodies before embarking on their movie-going adventure.
Once in our seats and the movie starts; our attention is on the movie, especially if it’s captivating. What we’re not thinking about is safety, which recent news more than suggests we should.
Let’s take an honest look at this activity. We make the conscious decision to sit in the dark for a few hours with complete strangers all around us. As we enter what seems like a safe and familiar place, we are alone without any staff or security personnel in that 200 seat theater with us, which in the past hasn’t become an issue. However, as of this summer, times have changed.
In reality, you are putting your trust into those around you that nothing bad will happen. To make matters a little more unnerving, we are advised to turn off our cellphones or keep them on silent. #NTDM (no text during the movie) is proudly displayed on the screen reminding us that the movie going experience is number one. That seems like a great idea, however; what if something terrible happens and there’s an emergency promting you to make a quick call to the authorities for help?
Yes, it happened. Even on our soil. Times have changed and even movie theaters are starting to experience random acts of violence.
Movie theaters around the country are taking necessary precautions to ensure that their viewers are safe from any danger that may occur. SecurityMagazine.com just this month reported that movie theater chain Regal Entertainment Group has incorporated a process where they will check all bags before being able to enter the movie theater. Movie theater employees will check back packs and purses in the hopes of reducing shootings or any other act that will put others in danger. This is very similar to having your bag checked before going to a concert or into an amusement park; it minimizes risk and keeps everyone’s surroundings more safe.
Be attentive: Be sure to scope out your surroundings before entering the theater and while finding your seats. If someone is acting suspicious, make a judgment call and don’t be afraid to tell the theater manager about what you see. Don’t make it too obvious, but make sure that someone else knows that you feel uncomfortable because of someone else’s actions. If you are really affected by how someone is acting, trade your ticket in for a later viewing or a showing for a different day. Not to say that you should always be in fear of seeing a movie, but you should always be cautious and prepared in case of an emergency.
Know how to escape: Finding an escape route is important in almost any given situation, but definitely in a movie theater given recent shootings all over the country. When you find your seat, locate the exit signs and plan your route out, just in case. It’s even recommended to try and sit as close to an exit as possible – this will be advantageous when there is an inevitably chaotic exit if an emergency situation were to occur.
Keep your aisle clear: Similar to when you are ready for takeoff in an airplane, movie theaters will run more smoothly if there are no hazards in the aisles. Ladies, keep your purses and bags in your lap or hand them on the side of your chair. If an emergency arises, it will be a lot easier to get out of the theater or move around freely if the aisles are clear.
Keep your phone on vibrate: As said earlier, it is important to keep your phone on you at all times in case of an emergency. Instead of turning your cellphone completely off, keep it on vibrate or do not disturb so that you will be fully ready to call 911 or another emergency contact if applicable.
Let your friends and family know where you are: This tip should be applied to any situation, especially if going somewhere alone. It never hurts to inform people where are you or where you plan to be. If there were to be an emergency, if your friends and family know where you are it will allow them to be able to arrive to the scene quicker and they will be able to easily locate you which will work in your advantage.
Avoid midnight showings: Attending late night or midnight showing, especially alone is not a good idea. If you know that a theater is going to be packed because it is the premiere viewing, try to avoid it. If you do find yourself in the dark or afraid to walk to your vehicle alone, ask the staff to speak to the manager and request an escort.
Less people in a theater means less likelihood of some sort of attack or mass shooting. Plus, a showing later in the week or in the last few weeks of a movie run at the theater might mean a discounted ticket price!
Planning and taking safety and security precautions helps to assure that everyone will have an enjoyable movie theater experience. All in all, movie theater safety benefits everyone from children to adults all year long and you can’t beat being aware of your surroundings to stay safe!
Tags: movie theater safety, safety, security