A recent study by research firm C4 found that 34% of theatergoers want metal detectors and armed guards in theatres, according to Variety.
But to implement more security at theatres is a complicated — and expensive — matter.
According to the Variety story, here’s a breakdown of the cost for additional protection:
Armed guards cost $US25-$US35 an hour, metal detectors cost upwards of $US200,00 and require trained staffers (who command compensation packages of $US150,000 each). Security consultants estimate that outfitting a national chain, like an AMC or Cinemark, would cost up to $US40 million over a chain’s hundreds of locations.
The C4 study found that many are willing to go through bag checks before entering a movie house, but only 13% are willing to pay $US3 extra per-ticket to help cover the cost for the above added measures.
Jeffrey A. Slotnick, chief security officer of risk consulting firm OR3M told Variety he believes taking action like this would hurt ticket sales. “Movie theatres have to be welcoming,” he said. “How many people like going through TSA security at airports? Put that in a movie theatre environment, and people just decide to stay home.”
The major movie theatre chains and NATO, the National Association of Theatre Owners, have collectively been silent about taking added security measures in multiplexes since the 2012 theatre shooting in Aurora, Colorado during a showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” which left 12 victims dead.
On July 23 in Lafayette, Louisiana a theatre shooting occurred during a screening of “Trainwreck” which left three dead including the alleged gunman. An August 5 incident during a showing of “Mad Max: Fury Road” near Nashville ended with a hatchet-wielding man with pepper spray being shot and killed by police.
Business Insider reached out to NATO and theatre chains AMC and Cinemark following these incidents for comment on if they are planning to change their security measures. The chains had no comment or did not respond to our inquiries. NATO directed BI to the statement they released following the Nashville incident, in which it states: “Whether it is in churches, schools, malls, theatres or other public places, people have the right to go about their lives in peace and safety. The safety of our guests and employees is, and always will be, our industry’s highest priority.”
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