Cinemark bans big bags


Yasmine Castaneda,

In the wake of the shootings across our country, many businesses and companies are examining their own safety procedures. While the country mourns the recent school shootings in Parkland, Florida, Americans across the country are fearing for their own safety while out in public, whether that be at a park, school, store, or even a movie theater.

Cinemark Theaters across the country announced that they are banning large bags. Beginning on Feb. 22. the mega movie chain, Cinemark, will no longer allow moviegoers to bring large bags into their theaters.

In a post on its website, Cinemark stated, “Any bags or packages measuring larger than 12″ x 12″ x 6″ will not be permitted into theaters.” The company has also announced that it has the right to inspect any bags or packages upon entrance.

Cinemark said the move is part of an “effort to enhance the safety and security of our guests and employees.” In light of the deadly school shooting in Florida and the 2012 shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado that killed 12 people and injured 70 others, it makes sense.

Cinemark is headquartered in Plano, Texas, has 533 theaters with 5,957 screens across the United States and in Latin America. Cinemark operates several theaters in the Bay Area including the locations closest to California State University – East Bay are in Hayward and San Leandro.

Many Twitter users had a say in this issue by suggesting the new policy has less to do with safety and more to do with the revenue from the movie theater concession stand. The new policy may create problems for those people who have used their bags to sneak in snacks into the theater to save money.

East Bay student Shelby Brown, admits to sneaking in a backpack full of snacks to save money at the concession stand. Brown tells The Pioneer, “I take going to the movie theater seriously, I go to the grocery store, buy myself a sandwich, snacks, a drink and pack it into my backpack and head to the theater.” Movie tickets, popcorn, candy and hot dogs to name a few can really add up when you go to the theater.

According to Time, movie theaters make 85 percent of their profit at concession stands. In 2009, AMC Entertainment announced a ban stating, “our junk food or no junk food” policy. Of each dollar spent at the concession stand, roughly 85 cents is profit, says Warren Miller, a senior equity analyst for Morningstar who tracks theater chains. “Any time someone brings in outside food, that hurts their bottom line,” he says. “The more they enforce a no-outside-food policy, the better they’ll be from a financial perspective.” And unlike raising ticket prices, it’s a change that’s unlikely to keep consumers from coming into theaters.

The company says there will be no exceptions, although diaper bags and bags containing medical equipment will still be allowed. Theaters will not provide lockers or check-in areas for those bags that are too large to take in.

The bag ban is similar to the NFL’s bag policy which was implemented in 2013 in which event goers are only allowed to bring bags that are clear plastic, vinyl, or PVC and do not exceed 12″ x 6″ x 12.”

If you’re headed to a Cinemark movie theater near you, remember to pack light to avoid any interruptions upon entrance.