Are There Security Cameras In Movie Theatres? Lights, Camera..Careful

We go to the movie theaters to watch interesting new films, but do you ever wonder if you’re being watched? You’re likely wondering because you want to sneak in good snacks to eat while watching, or you wish to spend a lovely time with your partner. Having surveillance cameras around the theater can certainly dampen the mood and ruin your snacking plans, and the mere prospect of having a camera watching you in the dark can sound a little creepy. 

It’s a given that security cameras have become part of our daily activities, as they’re part of malls, banks, buses, and subways. Security surveillance cameras are everywhere, so you should always assume that a camera is watching—even inside the theaters. 

There’s so much to cover about it, though. From privacy issues to reasons behind having cameras in theaters and the types of cameras used, there’s so much to learn! 

Without further ado, here’s all the scoop you need to know before sitting back and enjoying the show.

Are There Security Cameras In Movie Theaters?

There’s no denying it now—yes, security cameras exist in movie theaters! Almost every movie theater in the United States is outfitted with security cameras, which are usually installed behind the viewers. Other times, they can be found on top of the screen, which provides a good view of all the viewers. In some cases still, security cameras can be found on the corners.

They can see you eating those snacks you’ve brought in, as well as activities you end up engaging in with your partner. Apart from the actual theater, cameras can also be found in the entrances, ticket booths, hallways, and snack counters. 

Do Cameras In Movie Theaters Have Night Vision?

Since the theater will mostly be in darkness, security cameras have night vision features. This means that as part of the audience, you can clearly be seen through the monitors despite the darkness. You may want to think twice about your side plans!

What Kind Of Security Cameras Are Used In A Cinema?

Apart from having night vision features, the security cameras used by movie theaters come with special infrared specs. This allows the monitor to capture crisp images in the dark. These cameras are often called PTZ, or Pan-Tilt-Zoom cameras. These are specially made to keep large groups in surveillance, where the security can see every single face and activity. 

So, yes, they’ll see you snacking on those candy bars you clearly didn’t purchase from the snack bar. They’ll also see you sneaking kisses and touches with your partners. However, surveillance camera footage is never posted nor seen by others. They can be kept by the security team for 90 days, but eventually deleted.

Why Do They Install Security Cameras In Movie Theaters?

There are several reasons security cameras are essential to movie theaters, and here are some of them:

To Prevent Unauthorized Recordings And Copies of Films 

Piracy remains to be a rampant form of criminal activity across the globe. It’s essentially the illegal duplication of any copyrighted content, including the films you watch in movie theaters. 

Pirates usually resell the content at small prices, but more often than not, they get uploaded on the internet. Whenever someone pirates a film, the filmmakers suffer losses at the box office—rendering their hard work useless. 

To prevent privacy, states across the nation have created numerous anti-piracy laws, including copyright infringement. Most laws, however, necessitate the use of security cameras and banning handheld video cameras inside the theater.

To Encourage Users To Purchase From Their Own Snack Bars Or Kiosks

Although food can be allowed in movie theaters, more often than not, you’ll be banned from bringing your own. Some food can be disruptive because of the smell and, in some cases, potentially unsafe. 

It’s also important to remember that theater houses rely on their own food products to make more earnings. They’ll want to sell you food instead, which is why some theaters will use security cameras as a way of spotting you eating Snicker bars, Dr. Pepper, and a bag of Cheetos you didn’t even purchase from them.

To Discourage People From Engaging In Sexual Activities 

Kissing isn’t illegal in movie theaters, so you can go ahead and snuggle close with your partners. However, it’s best to keep such things in private, as there are other people around—including children! 

When you kiss, it’s important to be careful doing so—a quick peck on the lips or cheeks should be enough. Anything more, especially sexual activities, can be deemed illegal. A movie theater shouldn’t be a place for your passions—security cameras can easily catch you in the act, and this can later lead to public indecency charges. 

To Deter Criminals And Stop Criminal Activities 

Given that movie theaters are in darkness most of the time, it’s only logical to think that crimes run rampant within their walls—and it does. Robbery is a common crime, as with theft and security breaches. With security cameras in place, however, theaters can be a safer place for everyone.

Is It Legal For Cinemas To Be Recording Theater Goers?

Movie theaters are private spaces, so you may perhaps be wondering—are security cameras and recordings legal? Yes—the mere fact that they are private spaces means that they’re more than allowed to monitor their visitors and, in this case, you. Doing so allows them to stop a crime from occurring. 

However, certain limitations are in place. Bathrooms can’t have security cameras, for instance. This is illegal and a clear violation of your rights. Every space beyond that will be monitored by the security team, all to keep everyone safe and sound. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

We now know why security cameras are necessary for movie theaters. We’ve also learned about certain features and specs, such as night vision. If you still have questions in mind, allow us to satisfy your curiosity even more by answering some frequently asked questions:

Do AMC Theaters Have Security Cameras?

The short answer is yes. AMC movie theaters indeed have security cameras, especially since they’re considered the largest theater chain internationally. This makes them extremely vulnerable to piracy and crime, which makes it the right choice to have extra security measures in place. Installing security cameras is just one of many ways they keep peace and order within the premises!

Do Marcus Theaters Have Security Cameras?

The Marcus Theaters Privacy Policy tells visitors that they will be recorded by more than one security camera within the theater. These cameras are strategically placed throughout the building, but they assure the public that the security cameras will only be used for the following:

  • Security
  • Safeguarding assets
  • Crime deterrence
  • Investigations

Do Broadway Theaters Have Security Cameras?

Like AMC Theaters and Marcus Theaters, Broadway Theaters also rely on security cameras to keep movie-goers safe and comfortable. They believe that having security cameras around creates an atmosphere of safety, as it shows that they take security seriously. This helps the team monitor any suspicious behavior so that appropriate action can be taken before things escalate. 

The Takeaway

Well, there you have it! While it can indeed be difficult to grasp the importance of having security cameras in movie theaters (especially if you only want to carry good snacks or perhaps spend extra cuddly time with your partner), we know one thing—they’re a necessary part of your safety. 

Thanks to security cameras, every corner of the theater—except for bathrooms—remains under surveillance. This protects films from being pirated and prevents criminal activities and indecent behaviors. Of course, some measures can sound unfair, especially if you’re not allowed to bring snacks!

The next time you visit a movie theater to watch the latest film, look around. You’ll likely find one too many cameras, so be strategic when eating your bag of chips and playing handsy with your partner. Better yet, don’t do anything at all!

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