New literal forms of Security Theater make going to the movies so 19th Century where life is a panopti-diorama, old chum.
By ann summers
From the theatrical large-scale hand-cranked diorama giving urbanized music hall culture new life to the post-WWII sprawl of multiplexed drive-in theaters, we are in a New Age of Mechanical Reproduction for the work of art, namely the mobile device asynchronously delivering on-demand program content given the expansions of bandwidth, wireless network proliferation, all despite net neutrality. Movie theater ushers will be checking your bags and purses, but don’t worry you can still talk back to the characters on the screen.
We are soon to reach the apotheosis of Security Theater no longer content to infest airport terminals in the form of uniformed low-wage petty thieves but now with movie theater bag checks soon to be common. Making them less rigorous than the metal detectors in schools is perhaps a ploy to make sure that you eat overpriced junk food in the name of constraining stochastic(sic) individuals (aka violent non-state actors) from shooting up the place, or at worse making the place smell like unAmerican cuisine.
This is not unexpected, recalling that I tossed my box-cutter in the bin before going through the x-ray machine at the Louvre. No I didn’t have a Freudian oedipal Da Vinci moment, or desire the Nike to force me to shed my inflammable shoes, rather, even as a 21st Century flaneur, walking in Paris is not as safe as one thinks and I’d much prefer to have any random assailant bleed profusely.
Cinema is no longer the transcendental and phenomenological art experience touted by Arnheim or Merleau-Ponty, but another channel option for program content reduced to the faux-vérité of reality television with its fetishized brand-advertising model of audience-commodity delivery. If the medium is the message, the live-stream dribbles down our device when we butt-dial, and mass mediation trumps the fear of mass murder.
So now we have to mourn even further the public place for social interaction being replaced by idiots texting during movies, regardless of location. Social media will come from 3-D interactive gloves sexting miles apart. And with Google Glass one can multitask as well as protect one’s eyes from backsplash. Besides, as Ken Starr’s report on the Clinton Impeachment informs us, phone sex is pretty much like epidermal contact.
Security issues have become a daily part of our lives in America. Regal Entertainment Group wants our customers and staff to feel comfortable and safe when visiting or working in our theatres. To ensure the safety of our guests and employees, backpacks and bags of any kind are subject to inspection prior to admission. We acknowledge that this procedure can cause some inconvenience and that it is not without flaws, but hope these are minor in comparison to increased safety.
Films in 3-D may not be available at all locations. In some cases, theatre locations may show a particular film in both the 3-D and 35mm (2D) formats. When purchasing tickets for a 3-D film, please confirm with the box office cashier that the ticket you purchased is in fact for the 3-D presentation. Please see one of our theatre managers if you have any questions regarding 3-D films.