Could you be watched while watching a movie in a movie theater? Do they have surveillance cameras inside the viewing venue? Can they monitor the spectators while the lights are off? Are there any surveillance security cameras in movie theaters?
Many people wonder if it’s safe to sneak some snacks or food into a movie theater, or even getting a little bit handsy with your loving partner. And a lot of people may feel violated if they know that someone is monitoring them while they enjoy the movie.
Nowadays, you’ll find security cameras everywhere you go, from the streets of your neighborhood to the stores, shopping malls, gyms, movie theatres, banks, buses, subway. Security surveillance cameras are everywhere, they even have hidden cameras that can actually become a privacy issue.
When you’re out in public, you should always assume that you’re under surveillance, that you’re being recorded. And that’s the truth, just pay attention and see how many security cameras are installed in whatever street you’re taking a stroll.
Are there security cameras in movie theaters?
Yes, there are. Almost all movie theaters in the United States are equipped with security cameras that are usually located behind the viewers or on the top of the displaying screen (in front of the viewers). Although rarely, sometimes there are security cameras on the corners of the venue.
These cameras are mostly to ensure that no illegal recording is occurring. Some viewers record the movie with hidden camcorders and then they publish it on the internet. It’s not just illegal but the movie company may end up losing a ton of revenues if the movie is illegally distributed on the internet.
The cameras inside the movie theaters are equipped with infrared, which records black and white images when the lights go off (and the movie is playing). Also, these cameras are able to track and detect any emitting lights coming from illegal camcorders.
And if you’re wondering, YES, they can see if you try to give more than a quick kiss to your partner. There are plenty of places where you can engage in safe sexual activity, the movie theater is not one of them.
Additionally, there are plenty of cameras installed into hallways, entrances, ticket booths, cash registers. Basically everywhere there are cameras. Most importantly, the goal of these surveillance cameras is not to spy on you but to protect the facility and enforce the theater’s rules.
Why there are surveillance security cameras in movie theaters?
The main reason most movie theaters have security cameras is that they want to stop any sort of piracy from happening. When a recording device such as a camcorder or phone camera is illegally recording the movie, the security camera(s) of the theater will detect the red beam coming from such devices.
So, these special security cameras with infrared night vision are able to detect the glaring red beam emitted by any camcorder. Since a lot of people do not know this, they get caught red-handed (or discouraged from doing it).
Most movie theaters also sell snacks and drinks. In fact, that’s the theater’s moneymaker. It’s a common misconception that movie theaters make money off the tickets, actually, their money makers are the drinks and snacks that are overpriced.
They do not want you to sneak in food that they could have sold to you instead. That is another reason they use the cameras; so that they can identify people who bring in food with them, tell them that the food is not allowed, or ban them outright. Have you ever wondered why they check the bags before entering the theater?
In addition, the cameras, even the ones inside viewing areas help to keep the moviegoers safe. It’s dark over there and a lot of criminal activity may occur such as smoking weed, smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, certain types of abuse, loitering, sexual activity, etc.
All these cameras can be used to monitor the area and ensure that none of that happens. This makes the whole movie experience better and safer for everyone, especially for kids. Onbsiluy, any footage can be used against violators in the court of law.
What kind of cameras do movie theaters exactly use?
They use a very special type of infrared security camera that is able to produce clear images even when the light conditions are low (such as in a movie theater). Even though the screen helps a little bit illumination the front rows, the area will be badly lit.
Using these high-end cameras, the image will be sharp and clear. Even though the nighttime images are black and white, the theater’s security people can still clearly see faces and actions occurring on the seats.
Moreover, some movie theaters deploy the so-called PTZ cameras, which are short for pan, tilt, zoom. These cameras look like little robots installed on the ceiling or walls that rotate, pan, tilt, and are able to zoom in and out.
If something is not clear, the person in charge can reposition the camera properly and remotely zoom in until the view is close and clear. They basically can focus on certain seats without distorting the image. Pretty scary, right?
However, keep in mind whatever footage they have, it’s mainly used by the employees, and later on, it gets automatically erased. To our knowledge, the footage is kept for at least 90 days. Obviously, if something happens the authorities will get involved and they’ll access all the necessary recordings.
So, you really do not have any reason to worry about your privacy being violated. It’s not like suddenly the footage will end up online. There are security protocols that movie theaters follow for their CCTV footage.
Is it legal to install security cameras in movie theaters?
This is a good question, are these indoor cameras legal? Since movie theaters are private spaces, they are very much allowed to monitor their audience if they really think it will stop a crime from occurring.
We consulted a few local lawyers and they said that a movie theater is a public setting that is owned privately. Meaning that like any other business, they are allowed to install security cameras except in illegal spots such as bathrooms.
So, it is absolutely legal for theaters to monitor what is happening on their premises. When you go to a movie theater you should always assume that you’re being monitored with surveillance cameras (because actually, you will). You aren’t entitled to privacy when watching a movie in the venue.
If you have been wondering if there are security cameras in movie theaters, now you know the answer. Everything it’s monitored, everything is under surveillance, there’s no privacy in a theater and they’re legally allowed to put their premises under surveillance.
The main reason why theatres use security cameras is to protect themselves from piracy and ensure that no one is no recording the movie on display. Addiotualy, they use the cameras to prevent any wrongdoings, criminal activity, people bringing food, people acting inappropriately, etc.
Next time you head to the theater to watch a movie, be careful not to bring snacks with you. And if you’re with your partner, don’t get too handsy!