Movie theater owners and managers shouldn’t have to be parents. Parents should be parents. But because too many parents are choosing to bring children under the age of 6 to R-rated movies across the country, theaters are implementing major changes.
The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, led by owner Tim League, is one of the pioneers in this endeavor, banning children under the age of 6 from R-Rated movies that begin after 6 p.m. The movement, according to THR, has even adopted the unofficial name of "No 6 After 6," and the rule is aimed at providing a better theater-going experience for adults. As League explained:
We tried to determine at what age a kid can behave themselves and not blurt out the first thing in their heads.
Sadly, some adults still suffer from the same problem, but there’s only so much that one can legislate. The Alamo isn’t alone in this procedure, though. THR goes on to report that Regal is enforcing the No Child Under 6 at R-Rated Movies policy all day long, while AMC Entertainment and Cinemark are sticking with League’s "No 6 After 6" policy, to benefit adult clientele.
As Regal CEO Amy Miles said to the trade:
At Regal, it's our job to provide the best moviegoing experience for our patrons, and we want to make sure there are minimal interruptions during R-rated movies. We best achieve this through controlling the number of children in these films.
Movie theaters have been figuring out how to help families come to theaters, establishing early morning screenings as open to parents with babies, and creating summer programs where families could come see an animated or PG movie in a theater that keeps the lights dim, and generally encourages noise. As a parent of two boys, I’ve been to these screenings. They are wonderful for kids… but a nightmare for an adult who might want to watch a movie and not be overwhelmed with noise.
These policies are coming around at a time where movie theater owners and exhibitors are pushing back on the experimental program called The Screening Room, an idea proposed by Sean Parker (the mind behind Napster) which would allow patrons to pay a fixed price -- $50 is the suggested number at the moment – to watch theatrical releases in their homes. The problems associated with the theatrical experience – loud talkers, incessant texters, and yes, children – are leading to the creation of The Screening Room, so I can understand why theater owners would do what they could to improve the situation for ticket-buying adults.
What do you think? Should parents be allowed to bring their child to any movie that they choose, no matter the time of day? Is it in poor form to bring a five-year-old kid to Deadpool anyway? Would this policy encourage you to come to more evening movies? Weigh in below.