Movie theaters nationwide are banning children under six from attending R-rated movies after 6pm
Parenting is a drag. Kids eat up all your time, babysitters are expensive and having adult fun becomes a rare commodity. And you know what’s the rarest commodity of all? Going to the movies. When you do finally get to one, you know what you don’t want to run into? OTHER PEOPLE’S KIDS.
Thankfully, movie theaters nationwide are drawing a line too, preventing annoying parents from making annoying choices and banning children under six from attending R-rated movies after 6pm. The Alamo Drafthouse, truly a stalwart in defending the movie experience (they are known for their zero-tolerance texting policy), started the trend, and, according to The Hollywood Reporter, now large theater chains AMC and Regal are following suit.
“At Regal, it’s our job to provide the best movie-going experience for our patrons, and we want to make sure there are minimal interruptions during R-rated movies,” Regal CEO Amy Miles tells THR. “We best achieve this through controlling the number of children in these films.”
I have two kids. Going to the movies is one of my favorite things in the world. And this strikes me as totally 100% reasonable.
Going to see a movie is hard when you’re a parent. (What isn’t?) On top of the “kids eat up all your time” thing, and the fact that kids and adults like different movies (Pixar notwithstanding), when you do finally spring for a babysitter, odds are you don’t want to spend those precious few hours away from your kids in a dark theater, unable to have a sexy, swear-ridden, adult conversation with your spouse. No, you want to spend that precious time in a dark restaurant or a dark bar, with dark liquor and dark wine and dark beer, swearing up a storm.
As a parent, going to the movies stops being a top priority.
But you knew that when you signed up, as sure as you knew you’d be tired all the time, and your kids wouldn’t eat dinner, and that you would step on painful LEGO pieces. So if there’s a flick hitting the theaters that you’re desperate to see, that you can’t wait a few months to stream, you know what you do? You suck it up and you spring for the babysitter.
What you don’t do is drag your baby along. Or your toddler. Or any of your kids who are too young to sit still or be quiet or understand what’s happening or not freak out when something scary happens. “We tried to determine at what age a kid can behave themselves and not blurt out the first thing in their heads,” says League. Hmm. Now I’m not sure 6 is old enough, can we make it 26?
Most of us understand this and accept it as reasonable; parents get as frustrated with kids as non-parents do, if not more, especially if we’ve shelled out for a sitter so we could see an adult flick in peace. Because it’s not only about your kids, it’s also about the other people in the theater.
We parents love to complain about “discrimination” but it’s almost impossible to imagine anyone in their right mind would have a problem with this. Non-parents certainly won’t. Most parents certainly won’t either. But there are probably more parents out there who take toddlers to see Deadpool than you’d expect – you’ve probably sat near a few of them.
This policy is saving them from themselves, and saving the rest of us along with it.