Plenty of people went to go see Lee Daniels' "The Butler" over the weekend, but only one mostly black audience in Silver Spring, Maryland reported doing so under the intimidating gaze of heavily armed police officers.
The police presence caught many moviegoers off guard. "They had on what looked to me like bullet-proof vests, sidearms, a badge sewn into their shirts. They looked serious," Alan Hanson told ABC News.
Silver Spring's Regal Theater has since been accused of racial profiling since the police presence was reportedly limited to Lee Daniels' "The Butler," which features a predominately African-American cast.
Regal Entertainment Group routinely employs security personnel to ensure the safety of all of our guests and staff. When a theatre experiences sold out showings of any feature, security will assist with crowd control and guest assistance throughout the facility, including auditoriums.
This weekend our Majestic theatre experienced a tremendous guest response to the feature 'Lee Daniels' The Butler' such that additional showtimes were added to meet our guests demands.
At no time last night did local management receive any guest complaints or concerns about our security or staff, who worked diligently to meet all of our guests needs.
To the extent any guests were disappointed with their experience, we welcome the opportunity to address their concerns and provide them the best entertainment experience possible in their future visits to our theatres.
The film was a hit in its opening weekend at the box office, taking in $25 million in North American theaters, according to the New York Times.