When it comes to parenting, all of us, whether we have kids or not, have opinions on what's appropriate and what's inappropriate for children. That includes at the movies where you'll see everything from toddlers inside R-Rated movies to middle schoolers pleading and failing to convince their parents to let them see something that's PG-13. We could all argue until we're at emotional low points about what the right age for consuming certain types of content is, but we'd never get anywhere. It's just too complicated to make hard and fast rules. What's the specific kid like? Are you more worried about exposed nipples or people's heads getting cut off? What about swearing? How many f-bombs is too many f-bombs? And around and around we go.
But there is one issue when it comes to little kids and the movies that's a little less complicated and a little easier to have a conversation about: screening times. It's no secret kids can sometimes be a disruption at the movies. From crying to loudly asking questions to getting bored and turning around, they haven't learned to power through like the rest of us, which is fine. It's unreasonable to think children shouldn't be allowed to go to the movies, even if they're kind of annoying. They have to learn to get less annoying at some point, but that doesn't necessarily mean we should roll out the red carpeting for every possible screening. More and more theaters have started instituting policies like AMC's [no one under 6 at R-Rated screenings after 6]. Alamo Drafthouse doesn't even let 12-year-olds into some late night screenings, even if they're with an adult. More and more theaters have started instituting policies like AMC's no one under 6 at R-Rated screenings after 6.
Not everyone is pleased with rules like that, though. There are some who argue it doesn't go far enough. Some theater chains don't allow little kids into R-Rated movies, regardless of the time of day. And there are plenty more who think there should be rules against bringing little kids to any screenings at all after 9 PM, whether they're R-Rated or not. They feel children should be in bed, and they're also way more likely to act up and be a problem when they're tired. Then again, there are others who are unhappy with there being rules at all. They think, as parents, they should be able to decide to what is and isn't appropriate for their children, and if they have a kid who is going to sleep through an entire movie, what's the difference if they're at the screening or not? If the kid cries or gets upset, they'll just walk out into the lobby until he or she calms down. Besides, it's not like little kids are the only problem patrons.