Little Rock performance venues add metal detectors

by Talk Business & Politics staff ( 59 views 

Robinson Center in Little Rock. Photo credit Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Attendees of live performances at Little Rock’s Robinson Center, First Security Amphitheater and the Statehouse Convention Center soon will be required to walk through metal detectors, according to the Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau, which manages the three properties.

The new devices will be in use for the first time at an upcoming Jason Isbell concert Jan. 21 at the Robinson Center Performance Hall, which has a capacity of 400, according to the bureau. Passages through the devices are mandatory for attendees, employees and vendors.

“These new security procedures have become common practice in public assembly venues, and many promoters are requiring these type of security measures be in place,” LRCVB President and CEO Gretchen Hall said in a press release. “While there is no perfect system, patron safety is our No. 1 priority and concern.”

Moving forward, all small bags and purses will be searched, and backpacks and large bags are banned. The limit is for bag size is 14 inches tall by 14 inches wide and 6 inches deep, according to LRCVP. Patrons also may not bring in more than one bag.

In the press release, the bureau also announced and reaffirmed some other banned items, including laptop computers and tablets, cameras, skateboards/bicycles, helmets, weapons, fireworks, outside food and beverage, “and any other item that may be deemed by event organizers and/or staff as a potential safety or security threat.”

“Guests are advised to arrive early to events, and bring only necessary items in efforts to help expedite screenings,” according to the release. Guests will place their cell phones, keys and any other metal objects on a security table prior to walking through the metal detectors.

“We strive to insure our patrons have an enjoyable and safe experience at events in our managed facilities. We hope all our patrons will be patient as our staff adapts to this ‘new normal’ that we all face,” Hall said in the release.

A list of upcoming performances at Robinson Center follows.

  • Country artist Jason Isbell, Jan 21.
  • Arkansas Symphony Orchestra – “Tchaikovsky’s Passion,” Jan. 27-28.
  • “The Illusionists – Live from Broadway” on Feb. 3.
  • Arkansas Symphony Orchestra – “Music City Hit-Makers,” Feb. 10-11.
  • Arkansas Symphony Orchestra – “The Planets,” Feb. 24-25.
  • Arkansas Symphony Orchestra – “A Tribute to Ella,” March 10-11.
  • Broadway production of “Dirty Dancing,” March 17.
  • Arkansas Symphony Orchestra – “Sound Textures,” March 27.
  • “An Evening with Jason Mraz,” March 31.
  • David Feherty – “Live Off Tour,” April 5.
  • Arkansas Symphony Orchestra – “Beethoven & Blue Jeans,” April 14-15.
  • Broadway production of Disney’s “The Lion King,” April 18-May 6.
  • Arkansas Symphony Orchestra – “Raiders of the Lost Ark: In Concert,” May 12-13.
  • Broadway production of “Beautiful – The Carole King Musical,” May 29-June 3.