Cinemark announced today that effective Thursday, February 22nd, large bags would be banned from their theaters across the nation in an effort to enhance the "safety and security" of moviegoers.
In a post on its website, Cinemark explained the new policy saying any bags measuring larger than 12" x 12" x 6" were banned from their theaters. Exceptions will be made for those people with medical equipment bags and "diaper bags."
The theater chain warned patrons, that those people who come out with larger bags now, will be asked to place them back in their car as there is no storage available in their theaters.
Cinemark does not provide a general area to check bags or any other personal belongings not allowed into the theatre. Cinemark reserves the right to inspect all bags and packages entering the theatre.
The company says the new guidelines are an effort to create a safer and more secure environment for their employees and guests.
In August 2012, a mass shooting occurred inside a Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colorado during a midnight screening of the film The Dark Knight Rises. A gunman set off tear gas grenades and shot into the audience with multiple firearms, killing twelve people, and wounding 70 others. The gunman, James Eagan Holmes was arrested outside the cinema only a few moments later. The rampage prompted an increase in security around movie theaters across the U.S..
Cinemark operates more than 530 theaters with almost 6,000 screens in the U.S.. They are the third-largest theater chain, behind AMC and Regal Entertainment.