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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