Can Movie Theatres Check Bags?

We all are taught that checking someone’s bag or purse is not good manners. However, in some situations and places, it is not considered bad manners at all.

Rather than refusing or getting angry, we happily hand over bags to the relevant authorities and patiently wait for their approval.

The airport is one of the few places where bags are checked for various legitimate reasons.

The movie theatre is also believed to be one of the few places where the authorities can check bags or purses at any time.

Airports open and check several bags and purses in a day. However, the movie theatre staff do not even ask what you are carrying in that bag.

Does that mean movie theatres can check bags is just a misconception?

So Can Movie Theatres Check Bags?

Yes, movie theatres can check bags. It’s just that they do not normally do unless it’s necessary. Since a huge number of people come to visit the theatre every single day, it’s hard to check what everyone has got in their bags or purses.

However, in the need or hour, they can check bags.

Movie theatres can check bags and no one can question the decision

All movie theatres make the viewer follow strict rules. What movie theatre management is more careful about is that no one brings the food or beverages from home or stores located near the theatre.

Since they have got rules to be followed, if someone goes against it, theatres can take action. Learn Can A Pregnant Woman Go To Movie Theaters?

Bags can also be checked anytime when something doesn’t feel right and no authority can question the decision.

Why Do Theatres Check Bags and Purses?

Theatres do not normally check bags without any legitimate reason. It is only demanded to be checked for the following reasons;

  • To check if there is any outside food or drink
  • For the safety concerns

To check if there is any outside food or drink

Almost all theatres restrict you from bringing outside food. A water bottle is all you can bring with you.

It is because the theatres have a very high running cost, sufficient revenue can not be generated from the tickets alone. Learn theater hopping is legal or not.

They try to make money in several ways; one of them is from selling popcorn and drinks.

Most revenue is generated from selling popcorn and drinks as they are usually sold at higher prices.

So, if the management allows you to bring food from outside, the revenue will significantly decrease.

The one reason you might hand over your bag to the theatre authorities would be “outside food”.

If the Theater cameras spot you eating something(not popcorn or a specific drink), the authorities immediately demand a purse or bag and go through it thoroughly.

For safety concerns

Since the theatre is an overly crowded place. For safety concerns, all bags larger than 12x12x6 are not permitted into the theatre until they are checked thoroughly.

However, diaper bags and a bag containing medical equipment hardly get checked. It is so to provide a safe, secure, and healthy environment to the viewers.

Other than the two above-mentioned reasons, management can check your bags whenever they feel threatened. They do not even have to give a reason for that action.

Read also: What Kind of Projectors Do Movie Theaters Use?


In brief, yes theatres can check your bags. However, they do not check each bag unless it’s necessary. The bags are usually checked for safety concerns or to confirm that the viewer is not violating the rules.

Outside food and drinks are not allowed, so if the management finds someone enjoying an outside they can him/her for inspection. Moreover, they can check bags to confirm that the viewer is not carrying any dangerous equipment.

Read also: Cinemark Vs AMC

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