Investigator: Lawyer questions patron safety at movie theaters

7:05 PM, Jul 20, 2012   |    comments
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Movie theaters, including those here in Northeast Ohio, are beefing up security following the deadly shootings in Aurora, Colorado.

Theaters in Valley View are among those who say they're adding manpower indefinitely.

Valley View told the Investigator Tom Meyer three officers already patrol the indoors of the cineplex, but the theater says it will be adding extra security officers through at least next week.

Some critics are saying security has been lax at theaters across Northeast Ohio and will continue to be, once the Colorado headlines fade away.

"It scares the hell out of me to go to a movie theater."

Attorney Chris Patno has seen what's happened to two young people he represents in a lawsuit against Cleveland Cinemas, which owns Shaker Square Cinemas among others.

"It was the opening of Twilight, a huge night for the theater and they didn't even pay $6 an hour for a security guard to be there," alleges Patno.

Sarah Spiegler and Aaron Pascute were attacked with a metal pipe by two individuals two years ago. Those accused in the attack allegedly obtained the pipe from inside the cinema. Spiegler suffered a skull fracture.

"No one is watching these patrons. No one is protecting these patrons in the middle of the darkness."

Cleveland Cinemas said safety and security of their patrons is important and they're taking precautions in the wake of Colorado.

"We have security and we're doing security checks and stuff like that."

Cleveland Cinemas says it had a security guard in the building while the Investigator was there Friday afternoon while four films were showing.

When the Investigator Tom Meyer asked to see the guard, he was told the guard was scheduled to arrive later.

Attorney Patno believes security is a low priority at most of the local theaters because of cost. He says he believes the extra security will only be temporary.

"This will be forgotten in 3-4 weeks. You won't see a change."


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