Police At The Movie Theater, Good or Bad?

Obviously, it was a bad time at the Rock Hill Movie theater Saturday night. A fight broke out, but when you watch the video it doesn’t really look as bad as the article makes it sound:

Police shut down an entire movie theater on a busy Saturday night after a huge fight broke out in the lobby. Some of the people involved ran for the doors, others ran into theaters, forcing the shutdown for safety purposes.  

This news article reminded me that something else noteworthy happened when we went to see the IT: Chapter Two showing last Friday night that I thought was a bit unusual. We don’t normally go to movie theaters on Friday nights, so maybe when it’s busy this is normal procedure at the theater: there was a noticeable police presence both outside and inside the movie theater.

Inside the theater a uniformed officer stood by where the tickets are torn and watched us as we entered toward the theater. I wondered, fleetingly, if this was normal? What was the police officer watching for? There were a decent amount of teenagers and younger people in the theater. Does the theater have issues with people running into movies without paying or causing other sorts of unruly and disruptive behavior?

The movie theater audience was large but everybody was well-mannered. Nobody was talking loud or on their phones during the movie or being disruptive. What is the deal with the police presence?

Obviously there are problems in present day with all sorts of craziness in public places (one doesn’t have to look at much news to see that, unfortunately) and that is one thing that does concern me about going to the movies. It’s one reason I tend to avoid going when there are larger crowds (like weekend nights). I prefer to go during matinees or the really late showing when it’s quieter and the theaters are less packed.

Part of me likes the police presence and part of me does not. Guess I’m torn on this one. Skating rinks were big when I was a kid and the police were never there unless a fight broke out. I don’t know if police need to be camped out at movie theaters essentially at the ready for trouble, but maybe they do? I don’t have an answer on this one. Maybe some others reading someday might comment and let me know their thoughts or link me to other articles or blog posts on this subject.

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