It’s a Drag, Regal Cinemas Lookin’ in Your Bag

File this one under: “First World Problems” but it seems that the “Nightmare on Court Street” aka the Regal Theater is living up to its name once again.  This time around it’s about gender specific bag searches and our man in the City Council David Yassky (hey shouldn’t he busy doing “important stuff”?) has gotten involved:

On a the 8/12/09 Open Thread Wednesday, “bklyn20″ posted:

Last night I went to see “Ponyo” at the Court St Regal. At th tiket-taker [sic] spot they searched every woman’s handbag for outside food & drink. Isn’t this illegal and possibly discriminatory since they didn’t have men empty their pockets– I think women’s hand bags are considered part of their person? And don’t they have better things to worry about? Attorneys and civil liberterians, please weigh in!

She later added:

Just spoke with manager of Regal Union Square — it IS illegal.

This week, the Brooklyn Paper’s Mike “Nookin’ for Nub”  picks up on the story:

Brooklyn Paper: The ladies’-only search lasted for about a week and reverted to a gender-neutral prosecution after Councilmember David Yassky (D–Brooklyn Heights) called Regal Entertainment Group, the national theater company that owns the silver screens.

“It turns out that this was an isolated mistake,” said Tim Roberts, the lawmaker’s chief of staff. “They were supposed to be searching large bags. Any discrimination would be completely unacceptable.”

Regal’s regional manager did not return calls for comment. But a spokesman for the company, based in Knoxville, Tenn., was unaware of the local issue hundreds of miles away from the headquarters. He did say that searches had become more routine since the 9-11 terrorist attacks.

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  • Anon

    He did say that searches had become more routine since the 9-11 terrorist attacks.

    Riiiight… because only a terrorist would smuggle in a store-bought bottle of Coke and pack of Mentos into a theater…

  • John

    I would never go to this theater again. it is not organize and also has a bunch of low life’s hanging out in front and inside ! what a shame !

  • bklyn20

    The bigger issue here — which the Brooklyn Paper article doesn’t touch upon, possibly for legal reasons — is that Regal searches bags in Brooklyn but not in Manhattan. Having been to many movies at the Union Square Regal, I know that they don’t do bag searches there. The theater manger told me they don’t do it, and it’s never happened to me there. After speaking to some lawyerly people, it may not be actually illegal to do searches in a private establishment — but then why not do it in all of NYC?

    Perhaps the Brooklyn theatre should spend more time on actual theft, as in people who pay for one movie and see two or three with no difficulty? Why are escalators on Court Street frequently broken, or turned off, when that is rarely the case in Manhattan? Must have been a real help duiring the fire scare a few weeks ago!

    And if the bag searches are a terrorism security measure, then isn’t Union Square, (something of a national landmark) more of a terrorism target than Court & Atlantic in Brooklyn? The response from the Regal headquarters is nonsensical at best.

    Perhaps unlike some readers, my problem is not with the customers at this theater, but with the management. Not to mention that an NYC police officer was standing next to the Regal emlpoyee doing the search.

    Clearly we have a NEW crime here, committed by Regal Cinemas: MVWBR — Movie Viewing While Brooklynite.

  • Bob

    Searching for reasonably priced snacks from outside the theatre is covered in the Patriot Act.

  • Bob

    And how come when I go to the movies, I end up sitting next to the people who bring in the Chinese takeout?

  • nabeguy

    Bob, you’re a pisser. Thanks for the laugh.

  • T

    John, you should be embarrassed — I don’t even want to know what your definition of low-life is but I can guess.

  • GHB

    T, his grammar, spelling and inappropriate use of apostrophes should tell you something…

  • sticky

    Bob you are a funny man. This theater is rough at times. The experience of someone coughing up a lung behind is a hard one to shake. This place can only be handled in the afternoon.

  • David

    Though this may look to be sexism to an untrained eye, I can assure you it’s not. Just last week, on my visit to Court St Regal to see Mr. Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, I was asked to surrender a bag which was blatantly hiding a bottle of wine and plastic cup. When I refused to give up my delicious vino I was told to leave. Hence, I exited the theater onto Court St where I presided to lodge the bottle inside my pants. When I reentered, minus the bag, security asked, “Is that a bottle of wine in your pants or are you just happy to see me?” With a smirked I replied, “Just happy to see you.” I then nodded and made my way into the theater.

    I remember both the film and the wine being well above par.

  • FiredUpRTG

    With the concession people moving as if underwater, if any of the concessions are open at all, you could very well miss the first 10 minutes of your movie waiting on line at concessions.

  • Claude Scales

    Wow! A Regal Cinemas security person with the moxie and cultural savvy to paraphrase Mae West.

  • David on Middagh

    bklyn20 wrote: “Perhaps the Brooklyn theatre should spend more time on actual theft, as in people who pay for one movie and see two or three with no difficulty?”

    But ticket revenue must be shared with the distributor. Concession profits belong to the theater alone.

    That said, I do not intend to patronize any bag-searching establishments.