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Theaters Discuss Backpack Policies, Movie-Goers Talk About Attending Films

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Posted at 5:29 PM, Aug 06, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-07 17:00:54-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Belcourt Theatre has been preparing for showtime. Executive Director Stephanie Silverman was hoping for a huge turnout.

"We serve 160,000 people thru this theater every year, so its busy with a lot of people coming and going and we want it to stay that way," she said.

When Belcourt management heard word of the attack inside the Carmike in Antioch they put out a request through social media for folks to leave their backpacks at home.

That however was only for Wednesday.

"We're nestled here in Hillsboro Village with Vanderbilt right around the corner, Belmont, Lipscomb, TSU all these great schools surrounding us, backpacks, bags are a way of life," said Silverman.

Some Regal cinemas have still been on guard with extra security presence at its 100 Oaks theater, and moviegoers there seemed to still be lining up.

Sharon Littrell was one of them.

"I had already made plans and just because a crazy man decided he wanted to be killed by a police officer doesn't affect my decision to come to the movie theater at all," she said.

Regal Entertainment Group and Carmike Cinemas has had a backpack and large bag policy reserving the right to inspect the contents of any backpack, prior to admission.

However Littrell said she believes more could be done.

"What they could do is maybe hire an ex-military person or maybe an off duty officer to be there just in case an incident happens," said Littrell.

While The Belcourt has consistently reviewed its emergency preparedness policies, they hope moviegoers continue to enjoy.

"We have to galvanize as a community and say our public spaces are sacred spaces," said Silverman. "They are places where we will keep each other safe."

Carmike Cinemas issued a statement early Thursday saying:

"We are grateful for the quick and professional actions of our staff and all first responders in Antioch and Nashville.

The well-being of our guests and employees has been and will continue to be of utmost importance to our organization."