China’s cinemas are equipped with closed-circuit security cameras capable of clearly viewing the audience even when the lights are off, according to insiders who shared their knowledge in a recent forum discussion about industry secrets.
The news came as a shock to many people who recalled their embarrassing private experiences in movie theaters.
Insiders reminded moviegoers to refrain from ‘intimate’ behavior in cinemas, which have cameras capable of rotating 360 degrees and recording in darkness.
In the comments under the post, some netizens shared images of the camera screen, which clearly showed the whole cinema but obscured faces of people in the audience. Some also spread short videos of couples’ intimate behavior.
Beijing Youth Daily reporters interviewed some movie theater workers in Beijing and learned the cameras are used to alert projectionists when there is a problem with the film.
An employee at UME said the cameras are used to keep an eye out for chaos and emergencies, as well as to catch people attempting to pirate a movie.
Insiders said cameras in cinemas can hardly record viewers’ faces.
Han Xiao, lawyer at Beijing Kangda Law Firm, said security cameras can be used in cinemas as long as they don’t record people’s faces. Han said cinemas should post a notice to remind the audience that they may be recorded.