Regal Cinemas bans backpacks inside theater following incident in Tennessee

Regal Cinemas bans backpacks inside theater following incident in Tennessee
Published: Aug. 6, 2015 at 1:13 AM HST|Updated: Aug. 6, 2015 at 3:51 AM HST
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Ramona Salapatan
Ramona Salapatan
Mikael Eneria
Mikael Eneria

The line at Regal Cinemas Dole Cannery snaked out to the sidewalk Wednesday night for a special screening of  'The Man From Uncle'.  But before anyone could even hand over their ticket stub, they were made aware of a few rules.

"The theater has a policy with backpacks.  You may not be allowed to take those in.  Purses and small bags may be okay but all of that is subject to search by the theater," said a theater employee.

Hawaii News Now spoke with a manager there and from the Regal Cinemas at Windward Mall.  Both confirmed an email came from corporate just hours after an incident at a theater in Tennessee instructing these signs be placed in prominent areas inside the theater.

According to police Vincente David Montano walked into a showing of Max Max Fury Road, armed with a hatchet, pepper spray, and an air soft pistol that looked like a real gun.

After pepper spraying three people, an officer fired at Montano.  The SWAT team shot him dead as he tried to escape out of the back of the theater.  Investigators say Montano was carrying two backpacks.

Outside the Iwilei theater several people had questions whether or not their bag would be an issue.

"I bring an extra blanket in case I get cold inside," said Ramona Salapatan.
Salapatan was told her backpack would need to be searched.

"They're just checking, being safe.  I think that's good," said Salapatan.

In fact most people we talked to don't mind the policy.

"I think it will help.  Concealing weapons and things like that is a lot harder if you have less means to do so," said Mikael Eneria.

Still some think it won't be enough to stop someone who is determined.

"It helps but it's not going to prevent it," said Isabel Lamadora.

Hawaii News Now reached out to some other theaters in the area.  As far as we know no one else has made any changes.

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