In the recent events of the Louisiana shooting Comedian actress writer Amy Schumer bravely took a stand against gun violence. This came after a shooting in Grand Theatre in Lafayette, Louisiana during a screening of her film Trainwreck. She responded a week later addressing the horrific tragedy, “My heart is broken and all my thoughts and prayers are with everyone in Louisiana.” When a tragedy in our world occurs, it leaves a lasting impact and a desire to drive about change. It’s particularly tragic in a movie theatre. People are gathering in a small dark room hoping to be entertained for a couple hours before going back to their daily lives. It was only a few years ago in a Century 16 theatre in Colorado when a gunman entered a screening of The Dark Knight Rises and killed 12 people. It rarely occurs to people how vulnerable they are in such a place, but that’s because it is one of the few places we would ever expect violence of such a magnitude to occur.
Louisiana state representative Barbara Norton has expressed her desire to implement metal detectors in theatres. The push back did not come from theatre chains however, but Howard Levinson of Expert Security Consulting. According to Levinson, such a measure is not only implausible but unnecessary. He states, “They (metal detectors) cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to install, staff, and supervise, and patrons don’t feel safer when they walk into a movie theatre lobby and see them. The cost will be felt by the customer in higher ticket prices. Ask someone today if they’ll pay three dollars more per ticket to go a theatre with metal detectors versus the theatre across the street without them. They might say, ‘Yes, I will pay the extra money,’ but will their answer will be the same in six months?”
It breaks my heart that these events have occurred. Nothing is more important to me than the safety of my husband and children. Even more so than my own. I go to the movies all the time. Perhaps this measure could bring peace of mind to many such as myself. Personally I wouldn’t mind paying a little extra if it meant safety. I would find other ways to save money. Perhaps not buy a treat for example.
However I can see understand the perspective for those who wouldn’t like it. It’s already so expensive just to go to the movies. It would be great if movie theatres could afford their own enhanced measures. Earlier last month, Cineplex made a bold move to change their large drink size to medium and charge the same amount to keep up with costs. So while the corporation is trying to keep costs lower by charging more for less, they would also have to weigh the safety of the public against the likelihood of an event such as this occurring in their own theatre. So one can see how this may not be possible. If movie chains continue to downsize does that mean every aspect of their operation will too? Currently extra security is held at screenings to prevent piracy, but once the film screens for the public, security is nowhere to be found.
This leaves some interesting food for thought. These shootings are isolated incidents and while they do not happen frequently, hearing about it still creates great anxiety among film goers. At what point would you be willing to pay more for extra movie theatre security or safety measures akin to airport or border security, just to watch a film? Unfortunately this disturbing issue has become more prevalent then ever before and its imperative to hold on to perspective ,which can sometimes be difficult in our rapidly changing society.