GOP campaign booth set up in theater lobby criticized, defended
A theater faces pushback for allowing the local Republican Party to distribute Trump campaign merchandise in its lobby.
TheWake County Republican Party onWednesday set up a table full of merchandise at the Regal Crossroads Stadium 20 as they promoted a screening of the Dinesh D’Souza movie, “Death of a Nation.”
On Reddit and Twitter, some questioned whether the theater should allow political groups to set up booths.
On Thursday afternoon, Regal Cinemas sent a message suggesting the Cary theatermay have violated corporate policy.
“Regal prohibits soliciting on our premises including support for any political candidate. We have fol- lowed up with the respective parties involved regarding the recent tabling at Crossroads, reinforcing our policy,” the Tennessee-based company tweeted to a News & Observer reporter.
Charles Hellwig, chairman of theWake County Republican Party, told The N&O that the booth was erected by party volunteers who received permission from theater workers.
On Wednesday, a moviegoer posting a photo of the booth on Reddit under the name RealEzraGarrison said Regal “would never receive another penny fromme.”
“Seems kind of weird to have a campaign booth at a movie theater, at least when the presidential election is so far away,” one Redditor, Irishfafnir, posted.
“This is gross. Who wants to be solicited to in their free time, especially over Trump? I’m going to Mission Valley from now on,” another person, JAbbott75, posted on Twitter.
“Regardless of political views, going to amovie I want all government out of my damn business. I’m there to see amovie, not deal with political campaigns. Hate being approached by booths like these,” another Redditor, Javab----, posted.
Some defended the theater.
“When I first saw this post I figured it was inappropriate, but given the context of a conservative movie coming out, and the Wake County GOP having bought out the theater it makes sense tome,” Redditor Murican_Freedom1776 posted.
The post generated 600 comments before Reddit moderators stepped in and froze the thread.
Hellwig said the negative attention is unwarranted.
The volunteers didn’t report any complaints to him, Hellwig said— only that they gave out “several MAGA hats to people who weren’t even there for the D’Souza movie,” referring to President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”
The party, which had Dinesh D’Souza speak at an event last year, took donations that will pay for door-hanger voter guides.
“All the snowflakes need to take a deep breath and relax,” Hellwig said.
Volunteers for the Wake County Republican Party on Wednesday man a booth at the Regal theater in Cary.