So it turns out the purse search at the movie theatre was not a prelude to searching for weapons of mass destruction. I e-mailed the Greensboro News & Record a "story idea" about the topic and one of their reporters called me to find out what had happened, then got in touch with management at the movie theatre. Turns out they were looking not for weapons or food, but for cameras. Since it was the opening weekend for Pirates of the Caribbean, they were concerned about film pirating. The reporter said the movie theatre management was apologetic for any discomfort and it was a one time thing.
I'm glad to hear it. One less mystery of the Universe to be solved. =)