Did a Silver Spring, Maryland theater beef up their security because of “The Butler”?

During a Saturday night outing, Tiffany Flowers and Alan Houston went to a showing of “The Butler” at Regal Cinemas.  They said the added security of plainclothes police officers both inside and outside of the theater caught them off guard and only appeared to be for “The Butler”.

In an interview with DC’s WJLA, Flowers, a labor organizer, said there was talk about people being profiled at the movie theater.

“There were rumblings among the crowd about being profiled at the movies. They must have thought this was going to be a particularly rowdy crowd,” says Flowers. “I’ve traveled the world, been to a lot of movie theaters. This is the first time I’ve ever seen anything like this.”

“I hope that Regal understands this treatment is deplorable, disgusting, and they owe us all an apology,” Flowers says.

“Our expectation is they will do the right thing. If not, there are a lot of eyes on this. I believe they’ll respond by not spending their money at a Regal movie chain,” Hanson says.

Russ Nunley, Regal Entertainment’s Vice President of Marketing and Communications, emailed the following statement to WJLA:

Regarding your inquiry, Regal Entertainment Group routinely employs security personnel to ensure the safety of all of our guests and staff. When a theatre experiences sold out showings of any feature, security will assist with crowd control and guest assistance throughout the facility, including auditoriums. This weekend our Majestic theatre experienced a tremendous guest response to the feature ‘Lee Daniels’ The Butler’ such that additional showtimes were added to meet our guests demands. At no time last night did local management receive any guest complaints or concerns about our security or staff, who worked diligently to meet all of our guests needs. To the extent any guests were disappointed with their experience, we welcome the opportunity to address their concerns and provide them the best entertainment experience possible in their future visits to our theatres.

Whether it was racial profiling or an added precaution because of the extra crowd, Regal Cinema has a PR mess on its hands. “The Butler” topped the weekend box office numbers with $25 million. 

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  • unicorn.

    Well surprise, surprise. Smh.

  • DEE

    yeah, usually when a movie is sold out or they have lines outside the movie there will be a security. Unless someone was assaulted or threatened I don’t see anything out of the norm.

  • BeanBean

    They just knew that a large crowd of blacks were going to start problems and violence. Nothing makes black people want to start rioting like watching a man playing a butler!!!! Everyone remembers the “Pie Riot” that occurred during the debut of The Help?? Neither do I.

  • apple

    they should be profiling white men at theaters since they are the kind to shoot them up

    • lolala

      I see what your trying to say but there actually was a shooting (by black men) at this theater site years ago. It is a predominantly Black/POC theater.

      There is pretty much no movie that is going to draw a large crown of white men there. From my experience at the Majestic, and the fact that I WAS THERE THAT NIGHT I sincerely believe that the added security was because of the crowd in general, since all the movies there draw a Black crowd.

  • Bisah

    I actually go to this movie theater so I can speak from experience and it had NOTHING to do with racial profiling.This is one of the largest theaters in the area so when a movie first comes out the theater is ALWAYS packed and there is usually security. I’ve seen Think Like a Man, Fruitvale Station and Jumping the Broom(all black movies and most of the crowd was black)but I went a few weeks after it came out and there was no security. No one is denying that race is a problem in America but there is no need to attach every problem we face with race.