With the recent movie theater shooting in Louisiana and the trial of the Aurora, Colorado theater shooter both in the news, movie theater safety has been a hot button issue. Should movie theaters have more security? A new study has been done on the topic of movie theater security, and while most people view theaters as safe places, many do support stronger measures.
Research firm C4 conducted the survey of 250 moviegoers on July 28th and 29th, and according to Variety:
Nearly a third of moviegoers believe that bags and purses should be checked for weapons before people go into a theater, and 34% believe that lobbies should have armed security personnel and a metal detector.
While these numbers mean that two-thirds of respondents do not support these measures, this is still a decent chunk of the movie going public in favor metal detectors, bag searches, and armed guards. However, when asked if they’d be willing to pay more for their tickets in order to implement this new security only 13% said they would pay $3 more per ticket. Ticket prices are high enough, aren’t they?
While many people seem to want the increased security, a lack of it is not having an impact on the theater habits of movie fans. In a follow up survey from the same firm, 85% of patrons said the Louisiana shooting will not impact how they go to the movies. So, if people aren’t going to stop going to theaters, don’t expect to see them shell out for additional security measures.
There are some issues with this this survey however. First off, 250 people is an incredibly tiny sample size. According to the MPAA, 229 million people went to the movies in 2014 between the U.S. and Canada, so the percentage of theater patrons surveyed here is so small as to be statistically insignificant. Secondly, it should be pointed out that ticket revenue goes almost entirely to the movie studios and theaters see little of it, so an increase in costs to the theater is more likely to result in an increase in popcorn and soda prices, not tickets. Third, it is unclear if those surveyed realized that if somebody at the theater searches your bag looking for a weapon, they’re totally going to confiscate those M&M’s you tried to sneak in. Are you sure you want that now? Yeah, that’s what we thought.
While violence in movie theaters is terrible and something nobody wants, it appears that most movie fans, who see film as a way to escape, still view the theater as a safe place to do just that. Most do not want armed guards in the theater or metal detectors at the door. What do you think? Does theaters need to increase their security?