Local Movie Theater Ramps Up Security in Light of Attacks

In light of recent violence – and a Newport Beach leaf-blower prank – at movie theaters across the country, some cinemas are beefing up security.

At Edwards Cinemas in Mira Mesa, staff has posted a sign that reads, “For the safety and comfort of all our guests, backpacks and bags of any kind are subject to inspection prior to entry to this facility. Thank you for your cooperation.”

Moviegoers said the theater has set up a table, where a staff member sits to check purses and backpacks. The person told them not to worry, they’re not checking to see if visitors are bringing in their own food.

Many guests were well aware of why their belongings were being searched.

“I think we have to do that unfortunately,” said moviegoer Rick Cochran. “It’s become necessary.”

Last Wednesday, a hatchet-wielding man was shot to death at a Nashville, Tennessee, movie theater after attacking one person. On July 23, a gunman stood up in a Lafayette, Louisiana, showing of the film “Trainwreck” and killed two people before turning the gun on himself.

And over the weekend, pranksters turned on a leaf blower in an Edwards theater in Newport Beach, frightening those watching the thriller “The Gift.”

“Who knows what people can bring into a dark room,” said San Diego movie patron Kat. “But at the same time, when you’re rushing to just go see a movie and enjoy it, it’s not the airport.

“Not a big fan, I’ll say that,” said Kat of the bag searches.

Edwards Cinemas, operated by Real Entertainment Group, referred NBC 7’s requests for comment to the corporate offices in Tennessee. Despite leaving several messages, we did not hear back.

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