Cinemark, the USA’s third-largest movie theater chain, is banning customers from bringing large bags into their theaters.


The chain operates 533 across the US and Latin America. In an attempt to up their security and safety standards, the theaters are starting a new policy that prohibits customers and employees from bringing bags larger than 12″ x 12″ x 6″. The company adds that it will retain the right to inspect any bags someone brings in, regardless of size. According to the policy, posted on the brand’s website, medical and diaper bags are exempt from the rule.

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While the theater maintains that the policy is updating for security reasons, theatergoers online are joking that the real reason is to keep customers from sneaking in their own snacks. “Cinemark limiting the size of the bag you can take into their theaters, for ‘safety reasons’ …Yeah right,” wrote on Twitter user along with a poll, in which 83% of people agreed that the real reason was “blocking smuggle snacks.”

The ban, however, comes in the midst of the ongoing mass shooting epidemic in this country, which included a July 2012 shooting in a Cinemark-owned movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, that took 12 lives and injured 17 others. Victims of the tragedy unsuccessfully sued the theater chain, as they argued that Cinemark could have done more, security-wise, to prevent the attack.

Following the lawsuit, the attorneys for Cinemark requested that the victims pay almost $700,000 in legal fees to cover the court costs associated with the trial. They later dropped the ask when the victims agreed not to appeal the verdict.

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