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An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2011-07-29 17:35
Subject: [movies] Etiquette
Security: Public
Tags:health, movies, personal
Dear dad who brought a three-year-old child to the new Harry Potter movie —

When your child is so bored by the movie that they are singing, talking loudly, and protesting in a squeal when you try to hush them, that would be an excellent time to take them out of the theatre for a while. Instead, you were unfair both to your child and the rest of us in the theatre. Also you made my cranky, achey-assed, post-surgical self have to go find a manager to escort you out of the movie, which I don't appreciate having to get up and go do.

No love,

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User: madrobins
Date: 2011-07-30 00:48 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Note also to the woman who brought a child under one-year-old to Captain America: not only did the baby's crying disturb the viewing experience for the rest of us, but I suspect that the infant was upset by the loud noises and flashes of bright light, and you may be dealing with nightmares for years. I know it's hard to find a sitter. I did, or I didn't go to the movies. You're the parent: parent.
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User: anghara
Date: 2011-07-30 04:50 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Dear GOD, yes, this. You might assume that a parent CHOSE to have that child. WIth that choice come consequences. Some of those cosequences might entail a certain amount of personal sacrifice when it comes to outings for which the baby is fitted - if it is TOO YOUNG it is TOO YOUNG and you EITHER find somebody to sit with the kidlet while you take a couple of hours off to go to the movies or else you come to terms with the fact that you might, you know, oh, have to MISS a few first-run movies while that baby is growing up. Anything udner five is too young to go to a movie theatre, particularly for movies which are painfully not geared to a young audience.

Actually, same goes for restaurants. I once sat through at least forty minutes of tears and tantrums from the table next door where a pretty blonde toddler was basically tossing her cookies (and everything else) and screaming until she was blue in the face - which was when the parents finally packed up and left. But it took MORE THAN HALF AN HOUR. Really - they chose to have the kid. The rest of us did NOT. I'm sorry for any inconvenience but it's your baby and your problem for the next couple of years. Live with that, and let the rest of the planet off the hook - they did not sign on to push your baby buggy.

Sorry. A bit of a hot button.
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User: madrobins
Date: 2011-07-30 05:15 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
We took Sarcasm Girl to her first movie when she was two and a half (ALADDIN). She lasted through the popcorn, then was overwhelmed, so we left. Three months later she was able to cope with SNOW WHITE. But we didn't take her to (or her sister) to the action-adventure stuff until they were seven or eight.

Same thing with restaurants: if we went to one with a small child, I wrangled the baby. My in-laws wanted to take the whole family out for Thanksgiving dinner. I spent the whole evening walking my toddler back and forth to the bathroom (there was a fishtank on the way to the bathroom; she'd return to her chair, eat another mouthful, then say "bath-fish, Mama," and off we'd go again). My dinner was not sociable or relaxing, but my in-laws got to take all their offspring to dinner, and no one other than me was inconvenienced.

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User: willyumtx
Date: 2011-07-31 17:54 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I heartily concur.

Some parents need to realize that their desires and needs are no longer the number one priority and get over themselves.

I'm appalled that so many people (parents and non-parents) are so selfish in various public settings. Whatever happened to the concept of public shame?
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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
User: anton_p_nym
Date: 2011-07-30 14:23 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
"Movies for Mommies" has been big over here, too, for years; matinee showings of grown-up movies with lower volume for the sound. It's a great idea.

-- Steve doesn't want people completely excluded from theatres, but does wish that people would be considerate of both of their kids and the other patrons when going to them.
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User: madrobins
Date: 2011-07-30 15:23 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I have to say this is a brilliant idea. Although I hope they're choosing the movies with some kind of care: my friend Claire was taken to The Birds when she was two--parents didn't have a sitter--and while they told her in later years that she slept through the movie, she still has nightmares about birds attacking her which she thinks are directly from the movie...
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User: springfield40
Date: 2011-07-30 01:36 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Been there got the t-shirt.
I hate having to go get management which is probably why I do
I am sorry that happened
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User: bemused_leftist
Date: 2011-07-30 01:40 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Good for you! I hope this encourages other more able-bodied people to complain before someone like you has to get up and do it.

Or, someone PHONE the manager.

Whatever happened to "Down in front!", anyway?
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User: mcjulie
Date: 2011-07-30 01:40 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Argggh. Much sympathy.
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User: e_bourne
Date: 2011-07-30 02:32 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
But yay you for doing it.
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User: adelheid_p
Date: 2011-07-30 04:25 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
The world needs more places like the Alamo Drafthouse. I had a three-year old about 22 years ago. We took her to the Pittsburgh Cinemas in the Park (as in not in a theater) when we couldn't find a babysitter where she could run around and not bother people. But, as I recall, she either slept or behaved during the movies so it really wasn't a problem but we still didn't take her to movies that weren't appropriate for her age (And I don't think Harry Potter qualifies) or where she would be disruptive (which meant not any theater movie going until about age 5, I think).
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A wandering fellow on the long road
User: tsarina
Date: 2011-07-30 15:07 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Amen to that. I don't go anywhere but the Alamo these days. The last time I went to a regular movie theater was for a midnight showing of 300. Some jackass had a newborn and a 3-5 year old child with them.
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User: lil_shepherd
Date: 2011-07-30 07:39 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Link to the Wittertainment Code of Conduct, put together by BBC film critic Mark Kermode, his long-term radio sparring partner, Simon Mayo, and lots and lots of annoyed film-goers...

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User: supersniffles
Date: 2011-07-30 10:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
There's a theatre in the East Bay that does a 'baby night' where they show family films (like Cars 2) and encourage parents to bring small kids. However, these nights are clearly advertised and anyone entering without a kid has no right to complain.
My mother often told me that only one of my parents ever got a hot meal at a restaurant when I was a baby, because the other one would be outside jiggling me. It really bothers me that so few parents seem to understand courtesy anymore.
Some of us should not have children; I'm just glad I figured that out before I screwed up some poor child's life.
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User: threeoutside
Date: 2011-07-30 11:59 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Somebody took their 3-year-old to Se7en, for God's sake. Now that's child abuse, in my opinion. Sure enhanced the horror for everyone concerned - except, apparently, the parents.
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Gary Emenitove
User: garyomaha
Date: 2011-07-30 13:19 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It's rare when M and I go out to dinner and, sometime during the meal, there isn't an ear-piercing scream from some young one. We wince and then shake our heads, thinking about how far our parents would have knocked us across the room had we done that. Ah, the good old days...
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User: mastadge
Date: 2011-07-30 13:29 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Dear parents who brought a 7-year-old to the new Hangover movie --

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Bruce E. Durocher II
User: bedii
Date: 2011-07-30 15:54 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I was in the third audience ever to see Alien. It was in May, the studio hadn't released any publicity material yet, and lots and lots of parents had brought their ten-year-olds because it was just SF.

I had to fight my way upstream to the refreshment counter, but I'd spent hours in line and I was very thirsty. This meant I had to make a lightning run to recycle fluids a bit later.

I stood at the doorway to the auditorium for a bit so my eyes could adjust to the darkness, which meant I was watching the film but not a part of the audience again. Without giving anything away, it was the little scene where Ripley goes to the little terminal to ask Mother about the odds. I will never forget the sound that the audience made: a long sick moan.

When the film let out, all the ten-year-olds were silent.
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K. Feete
User: katfeete
Date: 2011-07-30 17:46 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)

Ha. Ellie is remarkably good in theatres -- as long as I face her towards the back of the theatre, keep the sunshade on the carseat up to block the bright lights, and keep my hand on her chest, she is perfectly content to sleep for two hours. This cannot last. I will keep sitting at the end of the row and plotting my escape routes for the day the magic ends....

The plane ride I'm about to take worries me more. Realistically, the chances of keeping a three-month-old quiet through several hours of plane ride are nil, and I've been on enough planes to know that at least one fellow passenger is going to be nasty to me about it. And I really hate that kind of thing.

It figures. I'd much rather give up movies than travel. *sigh*

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