Dangerous backpacks?

I bike most places, and almost always wear my backpack because it has everything I might need. I decided to take in a movie at the Duluth 10 theater, and biked down as usual. Also as usual I locked my bike to the only thing within two blocks of the theater that you can lock a bike to, which is the H.C. parking sign post. I proceeded in to pay for my ticket and was informed that I couldn’t take my backpack in. That is where my beef begins.

I explained that I biked down and I showed her my helmet. The ticket person informed my that it is “policy” that backpacks are not allowed, and that I would have to leave it at the ticket counter. I pointed out that the woman who just purchased a ticket ahead of me was carrying a purse the size of a laundry bag. The ticket person repeated that the policy was that no backpacks could be brought in. I asked why, and she said “security reasons.” I call bull.

There is nothing I could carry in a backpack that I couldn’t also carry in a large purse, or in a winter parka (in season). Obviously they aren’t going to ban those. I can only assume that they just think I am smuggling “contraband” in, which, again, I could also do with a large purse or a parka.

So, WTF! Does anybody else think this is unfair? Does anybody else think “security reasons” is a cop-out excuse for a reason they won’t admit? Do you think that if I was a woman and said it was my purse, that they would have given it a pass? What is the theater’s liability for items in my backpack which were in their possession for two hours? Or, am I just being annoyed by something that other folks think makes sense?

18 Comments

BadCat!

about 2 months ago

Is there any sign regarding the policy? I'm not sure they can realistically enforce an un-posted policy. The Marcus website does not have any backpack bans listed. It may be worth contacting Marcus through the website to see what their thoughts are.

Rae

about 2 months ago

I'm fairly confident that a private business, such as a theater, has the right to enforce any rule even if it's not a posted policy. Granted, posting such rules would give them a little bit more ground to stand on, but not totally necessary. I can understand how it's not a very friendly rule for anyone who chooses a backpack, but I also understand how the theater may be trying to minimally reduce their risk, and perhaps mitigate their insurance premiums. I wouldn't doubt, that in this state of our society, a theater might start to adopt the same rules as the Metrodome did before it's closure..... clear bags/purses only.

schmood1971

about 2 months ago

I actually wouldn't have a problem with it if it were universally applied to all large bags. It is the fact that I can't take my backpack in, but any number of women can bring in purses of equal capacity that rubs me wrong. I simply want to know what it is that they are honestly trying to prevent, to be honest with me about it, and to apply their "rules" equally to all patrons. Incidentally, when I go into an antique store, I usually check my backpack at the counter. I understand that they don't want people stealing merchandise, and I don't want to inadvertently knock down a shelf of tea cups. That makes sense to me. Moive theater "security" does not.

jbrown

about 2 months ago

I don't always drive and often use a backpack to carry my camera equipment in. I too have noticed the hypocrisy of some stores banning backpacks yet allowing women with purses the size of duffle bags in. I ignore their posted sign and if they ask to hold my bag at the counter I leave. If they don't trust me, why should I trust them?

Dawn Marie

about 2 months ago

I feel that if they are going to enforce it with backpacks, it should be enforced with large purses as well. Because really, have you SEEN what us women can cram into those things? And if you have a policy like that it should be posted.

emmadogs

about 2 months ago

I agree it should be uniformly enforced. I wonder whether the concern is safety/weapons, patrons smuggling in water/food, or both. Last summer I saw a film in Taos; every patron's bag/backpack was searched by security personnel, which is how I got busted for smuggling water into the film. I must admit that, in the past, I have smuggled water bottles into the Marcus since it is ridiculous to spend $8000 on a bottle of water there. The Zinema is much more patron friendly--they will give you a big, icy glass of water, no problem.

BadCat!

about 2 months ago

I worked at a movie theater many years ago, and at least in my experience, bullshit rules like this were only enforced if the enforcer: 1 - Is a cop wanna-be who likes to have power over others, 2 - Is a clueless employee who enforces the letter of the law, not the intention, or most likely 3 - A pissed off employee making minimum wage who decided for whatever reason to make you a target for their rage. I've only seen #1 once, #2 from ushers that were 5-minutes from retiring, but a whole lotta #3 for a variety of reasons. You're 13 and want to get a ticket for an R movie? Whatever. You're 16 and 11 months and want to get a ticket for an R movie, but you asked the cashier in a snotty way? Good luck with that! Here's your ticket for for Toy Story.

BadCat!

about 2 months ago

Note: I'm not saying you actually did anything to deserve their wrath. I've seen people get hassled because the usher had a hangover and didn't like their "Phish" T-shirt.

Aldin

about 2 months ago

Of course it has nothing to do with security and everything to do with candy bars and soda sales. Movie theaters are doing their best to discourage people from ever coming back, but somehow are still in business. And Hollywood complains that people would rather pirate their garbage and watch it at home, well, here's another reason. The sad truth is if you wear a backpack expect to be treated like a criminal. You're a thief filling it will pilfered goods or you're hauling around a pressure cooker.

jessige

about 2 months ago

First let me say that I do think it's unfair. I also agree that it's about snack revenue. However, having said that, I suspect it's also about liability. Pressure cookers, yes, and also probably fear of lawsuits after the Colorado Batman shooting. The purse/backpack thing is interesting. I can take a "purse" and a carry-on onto an airplane. I have one BIG ASS BAG--er, purse--that I use for no other purpose than air travel, for that very reason. I always thought that was a stupid rule, too.

kerc

about 2 months ago

Maybe just start calling it a European satchel and you can get in. (But I think the rule is stupid and frankly would like to see it enforced equally that the purse the size of a jumbo jet doesn't get in either).

rhetoricguy@gmail.com

about 2 months ago

Snacks, of course, but also video equipment? Still, they never stop my laptop bag. Go on Tuesdays. Marcus does $5 movies with free popcorn all day. (See theater for details; do not trust me.) I know it is a chain! but damn! they do good programming beyond the chain norm -- the Metropolitan Opera, the BBC wildlife documentaries, the Doctor Who.

BadCat!

about 2 months ago

As a side note, movie theaters get so freaky about sneaking in food/drinks, as the concessions are pretty much the only way they make money. Almost all of the ticket sales go back to the movie studios.

Ramos

about 2 months ago

The solution is to stuff your backpack into a purse.

BadCat!

about 2 months ago

On a related note (being that people are taking about A)Marcus theaters and B) saving money), you should consider signing up for the Marcus Rewards program. Even if you only see movies on occasion, points still build up pretty quickly.

jessige

about 2 months ago

They also have free kids movies every once in a while on Saturday mornings if you're a member of the rewards thing.

Dawn Marie

about 2 months ago

Because my mind works in not normal ways, I wonder if they would stop you if you were carrying just a pressure cooker under your arm? Worth a shot? I totally used to cram food and drinks into any available purse or pocket space because of the high prices. Now I just never go to the movies and rarely watch them at home (though that second one may be because the boyfriend likes to flip channels and starts watching movies that started an hour ago and I cannot stand to miss the beginning so I get up and go read).

gluvin

about 2 months ago

The company is a private business so it can make whatever rules it wants. That being said it is a dumb and poorly written policy that can easily be abused to the point they would change it. Since they are offering to store your backpack they are opening themselves up to unlimited liability. A person would only have to claim that something was stolen from their backpack while under Marcus Theaters watch and with a little pressure they would have to pay out. It's totally dishonest and immoral but, it is why companies will do random bag checks over storing you stuff. When they do this they take the legal responsibility to make sure it is safe and secure. I do not condone this scam but, if anyone from Marcus Theaters reads this post, I would suggest they review their policies with a lawyer.

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