Settling into a darkened movie theater, large popcorn in hand, ready to sit back and enjoy the show, when in walks a parent with small children.
A typical scene when watching any Disney flick, but this is no animated tale. Rather it’s an “R” rated, extremely violent film.
This situation happened recently to a friend. She wrote of the children, “They really should be at home watching movies about rainbows and butterflies.”
I had a similar experience last summer while watching an “R” rated comedy. I’m no prude, but thinking about the movie still causes me to blush.
And it really made me squirm to sit in a packed theater next to a stranger’s daughter who couldn’t have been older than 8.
I know “R” means “restricted” and those younger than 17 must be accompanied by an adult. But what about the discomfort others feel having those whippersnappers watch the movie with us?
It turns out this is a common occurrence.
I talked to local theaters and was told it’s up to the parents, some of whom believe their children are mature enough to handle the blood spilling or F-bomb dropping.
And who am I to second-guess their parenting? I may be aghast at their choice for “family movie night,” but they may be equally disturbed to know I occasionally allow my children to eat Cap’n Crunch for dinner.
At this same violent movie, my friend sat in front of a 2-year-old who cried throughout the movie. The mom continued to “Shhhhh” the child in an equally loud voice.
Now, this is when taking children to a theater goes beyond parenting choice and becomes rude. You, as a movie patron, should politely turn and ask the offender to please stop talking or kicking your seat. If the rude behavior continues, it’s perfectly fine to tell the theater management. The offender will be given a warning and if bad behavior doesn’t cease, will be asked to leave the theater.
After all, you plunked down your hard-earned money for a ticket and you deserve to have an enjoyable experience. Even if it does involve mass blood shed. Or language so foul it causes your toes to curl.
— Have a question you’d like answered? Write Ask Erin, Kitsap Week, P.O. Box 278, Poulsbo 98370 or e-mail email@example.com.