Now that my daughter is safely (one hopes) ensconced in overnight camp, I’ve decided to go watch the new Batman movie. I plan on reviewing the gunplay for TTAG. See how that works? Even the word “gunplay” has new meaning after Aurora Colorado’s Midnight Movie Massacre. Naturally, I checked with my local cinema chains to see if I could carry a concealed weapon while watching The Dark Knight Rises. Just in case a copycat killer decides to strike again. Also because I carry everywhere where I am legally allowed to do so. National Amusement’s  Showcase Cinemas? Nope. AMC? No. [NB: Like Cinemark and all the other major cinema chains, there’s nothing about their firearms policy on the corporate website.] Perhaps someone should organize a boycott of these “gun free” zones. Meanwhile, I’m going into the movie unarmed. You?

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72 Responses to Where CAN You Carry a Gun and Watch a Movie?

  1. There was actually a DGU in front of my local theater 2 or so years ago and I OC or CCW to every film I have attended but that’s Wyoming

    • Why would you tell these people you are going to carry a firearm into the theatre? That makes no sense! If you have a CCW, you carry discreatly, and quietly. You DO NOT advertise your intention. MORON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • So how does the minimum wage movie tickt seller at the theater know that the person purchasing a ticket is the anonymous Internet dude Masashin? You Sir are the moron.

      • Paul,
        It’s the state law that makes it a crime to carry a concealed weapon into a gun-free zone. If you carry in and get caught it, you won’t have a problem with the movie theater. You’ll be on the wrong side of the bars, looking out.

        • Very good reply to a rude trog. The clear solution to this situation is to stay away from movie theaters. Wait a couple of months until Amazon Prime, Netflix or HBO picks up the movie and watch it at home. A lot of people ar doing this already and a google search will bring up pages of articles on the decline of movie theaters. Netflix is considering throwing in the last shovel full of dirt by airing movies upon release.

    • I wait a month or two, get the dvd, and watch it at home with no screaming children, texting teens, having to disarm or paying fifteen dollars for snacks.

      • ….Or stock up on your own snacks, and go in the middle of the day, in the middle of the week…that’s what I do…and CC anyway…

        • That’s what I do exactly. I’ve checked all the entry doors and there are no signs barring firearms, so I’m not about to ‘ask’ their policy and have them post one. I cc everywhere I go, because you never know what may happen and I feel it’s always best to be prepared.

    • My Friday night AMC Batman movie experience included a hot Asian chick and a concealed Glock 26. I didn’t go looking for small signs.

      • Asian chicks can be hot. It’s great to have a nice light petite one give you a back rub and walk on your back. One of my favorite Chinese meals is General Chou’s Chicken, Asparagus cooked in a black bean sauce, and an order of white rice.

  2. Many theaters in my area have a no bags policy and are using metal detector wand and police are on duty as part of the over reaction. Personally, I believe this is an isolated incident with a lot of planning – there will be no copy-cat, at least not for this movie.

  3. Took my son to Ice Age 4, and I carried. At Cinemark no less. Worse they can do is ask you to leave w/o a refund (unless your State’s legislature has a rule about it). As long as you comply, there shouldn’t be a problem.

  4. In The movie there is a lot a few “no guns” statements and actions, especially by the heroes. But they have nothing against doing harm to others by other means. Beating the s… out of others with fists and legs and feet. Throwing projectiles at others. ‘Shooting’ electro-charges at others while driving. ‘Shooting’ canons of differentt sorts at others. Throwing others of high places. Blowing others up by all means. etc. And when there is gun play, by the bad guys, it is a bit unrealistic. But, clearly, it is stated in a few scenes, no guns, guns solve nothing, “I killed someone(2) with this gun. Throw it away.”(cool tricky riochet during this scene). Anyway you will get the picture

    Nous Defions

  5. Unless there is some sort of criminal penalty or screening, I disregard the signs. Period. If there is, I simply don’t go there, courthouses and airports excepted.

    My right to exist trumps your property rights.

    Just as there terrorists won on 9\11, Holmes wins with every overreaction.

    • +1000

      I am completely fine if a property owner demands that a pistol be carried in a properly fitting holster which covers the trigger … that pretty much makes unintentional discharges impossible. But to tell me I cannot defend myself is immoral. It is every bit as immoral as telling an asthmatic that they cannot use a rescue inhaler because the property owner hates big pharmaceutical companies and only subscribes to a “natural healing” philosophy.

  6. Happily, locations wishing to forbid the legal carry of firearms in Texas must display a sign meeting all specific requirements spelled out in statute. None of the theaters I frequent in east Texas display these signs. The requirements detail the wording and even the minimum size for the font.

    As for the corporate policy of theater chains, if they don’t display the signs, I couldn’t care less. If they display the signs, I won’t carry there, and so I won’t be sitting in their theaters, and neither will my kids or my wife, or any other group in which I have a say.

    Cinemark policy was responsible for setting up the “gun free” zone. Because of that, they bear the largest share of what happened.

    • Any business that bans guns should assume full responsibility for patron’s safety. They can’t have it both ways. If they intend to disarm “for everyone’s safety” then they have to insure safety, not leave them open and defenseless.

      I think the days of declaring a gun free zone and then doing nothing about protecting the disarmed are over. I won’t go to any more public events where they are creating fish in a barrel.

  7. Malco theaters in northwest Arkansas vary by location. I only go to ones that welcome me.

    I’ve seen comments about the property rights of businesses here. Let’s broaden the discussion: Does a business have the right to ban a woman wearing a headscarf for religious reasons? How about a man with a yarmulke? If a business is open to the public–not a private club, in other words–it can’t bar entry of someone who is passively exercising rights. A person can’t come in and preach about religion without permission, but simply wearing the symbols of that religion have to be allowed. I see carrying a concealed handgun in the same way. I’m not waving it around, and I’m not disrupting the peace. I’m quietly exercising my right.

    • Good point Greg, unfortunately most would take the stance that the CCW is well a hot button issue, so they would side on the owners side. Course if I was wearing a kippah and was told to leave the ACLU would shut the business down, and I would own it after the legal preceding. It isn’t fair, I would be the first to side on that, but we are not treated equally. From city to city, county to county, state to state. We are treated differently even though the constitution says differently.

  8. If I saw that sign on my way into a local business, I would think to myself “Whew, I’m glad I carried the 1911 instead of the revolver today.”

  9. Well I wanted to CC to this one theater in New Jer….OMG I’M BEING ARRESTED AS I’M TYPING THIS!!!!!111

    not really, but you get the idea.

  10. I’m going into the movie unarmed. You?

    Not in this lifetime, pal. My new motto is “love my money, love my gun.”

    • I was surprised to learn this when I got my NC CHP. We really need to push to change this law. Signs carry weight of the law is another one we need changed.

      • The two major problems with signage in NC are that there is not a standard that must be followed like the Texas 30.06 statute and that NC statute calls for a “conspicuous” notice or statement. Neither the legislature or courts have provided any guidance on what is or is not “conspicuous”.

    • Amen. Between that and the “no carrying where alcohol is *served*”, it really cuts down on where carry is legal. Shockingly, I can, actually, go into Red Lobster and not be forced to guzzle margaritas (I like fruity drinks, shaddup…) until I’m three sheets to the wind, or even a single margarita, for that matter. Guilty until proven disarmed.

      • I don’t like that restriction either. The legislature was poised to correct restaurant carry in the short session this summer until two of the Republican Senate leaders (Phil Berger and Tom Apodaca) got cold feet and killed HB111 by shuffling it from committee to committee until the session adjourned.

  11. The local news published a response by Carmike Cinemas. Sympathy for the victims, yadda yadda. Last sentence of the presser: “It is Carmike’s policy not to allow weapons of any kind on our property”. You have fun with that one.

  12. I just assumed we all ignored the signs. Almost everyone I went to the midnight show with of Batman was armed. None of paid the least bit of attention to the sign. We would rather have a fighting chance.

  13. Meanwhile, I’m going into the movie unarmed.

    Unless generic “no firearms” signs in businesses carry force of law in RI, I seriously doubt that.

    I carry regardless of signs here, because they have no force of law. But as I’ve said elsewhere, I’ve never seen a “no guns” notice at any of my regular theatres, and I’ve looked. I will look harder next time I’m there, just to make sure, but if I find one, I’m still going to ignore it.

    • To clarify, movie theatres are one of the few exceptions to the “don’t shop there, and explain why” rule I have about places with “no gun” signs. The reason is that which movie theatre I and my friends visit is largely community rule. There are 4 regular places we visit (two AMC, one Cinemark, one Regal), widely scattered around Orlando, and which one we attend is largely determined by which one is closest to the largest number of attendees.

  14. I just glanced through these comments on my phone so maybe I missed it, but are any of you from Texas? Because in neither Austin nor Houston theaters of any type have I seen any 30.06 signs.

  15. The real question is why do you need to visit a movie theater to start with.

    First date? Puhleeze. Don’t do what her ex’s did. Picnics & a trip to an interesting museum beats the local Cineplex every time.

    Watch a good movie? Thats hilarious. Out of all the stuff released this year maybe 3 films are worth the $7.50 admission price, and all of them barring zombie apocalypse will eventually make it to home distribution -for a price far less than a one time viewing at a public theater, might I add.

    Kill some time? Instead of dropping nearly $10 bucks to watch some retread copy of a better movie made in the past, put up another 6 bucks and buy some 9mm ammo and go shoot. Target practice IMO beats IMAX hands down.

    • Dunno about you, but I don’t leave the range without dropping at least $50 on the whitebox 9mm I took with me, paper targets, and the range fee.. That’s a bit more than 2x the usual matinee feature at the Drafthouse plus soda and popped corn..

  16. We are looking at this all wrong. Cinemark needs to put up a “No mass shootings allowed” sign. See, all we need is one more law.

  17. I went to see the movie last night at a local drive-in theater. They give everyone a printed handout when you enter that list radio station the audio is broadcast over, the snack bar menu, and the rules and regulations. All they say is “no unlicensed firearms”. Since I’m licensed to carry a firearm, it would seem that I’m clear.

    The other theater that I typically go to is independently owned. They don’t list any policies online, but there aren’t any signs about not carrying guns.

    Though to be honest on the rare occasion that I do go to a Cinemark or other big-corporate chain theater, I carry anyways. Signage doesn’t carry the force of law in the state of Pennsylvania. So carrying a concealed handgun into a theater is just as illegal as smuggling in your own bottled water or snacks in contravention of theater policy.

  18. Glad to say in my state “no gun signs” have zero rule of law unless it is an official no gun area, fed building, school… If they see it and ask you to leave, you must leave though…. They have never seen it.

  19. I believe Orange County theatres allow CC. Some of the signs are small, and hard to read with all of the crowds about.

  20. I especially ignore signs and carry into the theaters. concealed means concealed and most sheep have no idea what to look for.

  21. When the sign says “no weapons” I figure I’m breaking the law whether I’m carrying or not. The most dangerous weapon is us. So I just grin and walk on in.

  22. I say put a pistol under your shirt, it is better to be tried by 12 than carried by 6… you got the answer…

  23. Come watch it in Georgia, not against the law, and I never see the required sign for a theater to disallow in their own.

    • My local theater in GA just posted up signs saying no weapons allowed. Inside the building, posted on the cash registers to the concession stands. So you see them after you have already paid for your tickets. And it was just standard printer paper, typed up in 12 pt. font. Never would have seen it myself if they hadnt taken forever to get my popcorn. Not sure about the legality on this one…

      • i carry in every theater i go to here, i have never seen a sighn but doesnt mean there isnt one hidden behind the counter or some where inconspicuouse

  24. I went and saw The Dark Knight Rises this evening at the big AMC theatre at Universal CityWalk. I tasked a couple of my friends to be extra eyes and help me look. None of us saw any reference to firearms anywhere.

  25. Luckily, in the state of Mississippi, businesses NO GUNS signs, DO NOT carry the weight of law, like they do in Tennessee. Therefore, I actually enjoy walking right past the NO GUNS signs (of course concealed).

    If my gun were ever “discovered”, I could be asked to leave. But in order to be cited for Trespass, I would have to refuse. In addition, business owners can’t cite you, their only course of action is to call the police. The police would have to advise me, to not come back to the business or I would be arrested for trespass.

    Therefore, you need to know your laws in your state. I will continue to violate their property rights as long as they wish to deny me my 2nd amendment rights.

    I am going to the movies, armed and I suggest you do the same if your state laws are like mine! Enjoy the Show!

  26. From my understanding of Tennessee state law, you have to have properly posted signage for it to be an offense to carry (with exception to government buildings, schools, jails, and some parks). The rules for signs are described under TCA § 39-17-1359 (Tennessee prohibition of carry notice). From my reading of the law (mind you I’m not a lawyer) a place using a simple “no guns” of a picture of a gun with an X through it isn’t sufficient grounds for you to be charged with an offense if you carry there.

    • Came back after reading the law all the way through again. I made a mistake. The international sign of a gun with a slash through it is legal postage. My bad

  27. Lucky for me those signs don’t really carry that much weight in the two states I frequent. I carry every where I go and ignore all signs that say I am not welcome.

  28. Don’t tell, and hope they don’t screen and you get in trouble. Otherwise you’re pretty much guaranteed to be able to carry and watch a movie at home. Cheaper too. You just have to wait for the movie to hit DVD/Blu-Ray… unless you break the law and pirate. (Not wise as RIAA/MPAA Gestapo love to ream you with absurd fines and damages it they catch you.)

  29. I long ago gave up going to movie theaters. They have overpriced tickets, food, and annoying people. Plus Hollywood churns out garbage written to entertain the lowest common denominator.

    I don’t miss it and I also don’t leave my safety to a high school kid taught to run at the first sign of violence.

  30. I have a CCW permit. I don’t advertise it. I don’t show my weapon. I don’t go looking for trouble. However, if trouble comes looking for me, that’s a different issue. I would rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6.

    • We should boycott all gun free zones because they violate the 2nd amendment and are simply unsafe zones as long as criminals and crazed people walk freely because of poor judge decisions or political orders to just let these guys out of jails because the may be budget trouble or it suites the political agenda of the day.

  31. I C.A.N.T, since the signs don’t carry force of law in VA. If spotted, they can ask you to leave. If you refuse, THEN they can have you arrested for trespassing. Concealed means concealed. I carry every time I go to the movies, or anywhere else despite the signs. When they start using metal detectors around here, then I may feel ok going to a movie unarmed, since everyone else will be as well.

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