Bag checks at Beacon

Saturday September 8, 2012

In a letter to the editor Friday, Beacon Cinema General Manager John Valente clearly articulated the reasons for the Pittsfield theater’s bag checking policies. We suspect patrons will be still be irritated by it but they should consider the difficult position the theater finds itself in. We would also urge the theater to consider ending a perk for some movie-goers that is not worth the trouble.

Eagle letter writers have expressed unhappiness about having their bags searched and various treats confiscated. Mr. Valente explained in his letter that as a holder of a Massachusetts Alcohol License, the Beacon must be cautious about what people bring in to the theater. We understand that the Beacon wants to enhance the entertainment experience for patrons who have the option of watching DVDs at home on their big screen TVs, and selling beer and wine may do this, but alcohol obviously creates headaches as well. Patrons can go two hours without a drink and can get a nightcap downtown by patronizing neighboring restaurants and taverns. The Beacon should consider dumping the liquor license.

As a business that needs to make a profit, the Beacon obviously hopes patrons will buy snacks at their concession stands, but they also must keep their theaters clean. While it is inconvenient to be searched, it is far more inconvenient to step into a bag of leftover barbecue wings or pepperoni pizza discarded by overly entitled patrons who don’t know or care about the difference between a public venue and their living rooms.

We urge Beacon patrons to show patience and understanding when going through bag checks. The problem is not the Beacon -- it’s their inconsiderate fellow movie-goers.


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