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Diatribe: Other People’s Kids At The Movies.


OtherPeople'sKidsI was lucky enough, over the course of the long holiday weekend, to get to see a movie.  I researched all the times and theaters where the movie was available and made arrangements to meet a few people at the box office so that we could all be sure to sit together as it was the movie’s first night on screen.  We decided to see a movie that was scheduled to begin, according to multiple online sources, at 7:30.  At 7:10 I joined the line at the box office where a note was posted on the window indicating that the movie would start at 7:15.  When it was my turn to purchase tickets, I pointed out that the sign in the window indicated a different time than the online advertisements.

“I know,” said the cashier.  “The sign in the window is wrong.”

“Well, take it down if it’s wrong!” was my response.  It was then that I learned the cashier was sitting in a wheelchair and, consequently, unable to reach the sign in the window in order to remove it.  I apologized and joined my group to find seats in the theater.

Just as the movie was about to begin, a rather large family entered the theater and filled the row of seats directly behind me.  I assumed, because they talked and laughed among themselves as if they were in their own living room, they had never been to a movie before.  They continued to chatter and giggle throughout most of the movie with the smallest child running back and forth from one adult’s lap to another, each time bumping the back of my chair.  Still embarrassed by my cashier-in-a-wheelchair gaffe, I chose to hold my tongue.

I was determined to enjoy the movie and, in this instance, I felt that I really needed to pay attention so that I would be able to follow the plot.  But, during a particularly important scene, the people behind me (who, clearly, were having difficulty following the story themselves) began chatting and laughing to the point where I could no longer bite my tongue.

“Please be quiet!” I said. “I can’t hear the movie!”

They muttered something that I didn’t understand and then they were, mostly, quiet for a bit.  Eventually, of course, the little one started roaming to and fro and, at one point was within inches of the back of my head when she screamed.  I instinctively turned and almost swatted her away but, instead, I said to the adults with her “Please!”.  This, apparently, was enough to get them to make her sit still.

Fortunately, the movie was so good that it overshadowed the rude family seated behind me.  I was tempted, as they left after the credits began to roll, to hand one of them a twenty-dollar bill and suggest that they use it to hire a baby sitter the next time that they want to go see a movie with the public.

Some people!

Have you ever encountered “other people’s kids” at the movies?


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From → Diatribes

  1. I took my “kid” Carlos to see the new Star Trek this weekend, and when he begin talking, Talking! TALKING!!!!, during the previews, I cringed and hissed at him to be quiet.
    He did, though I still don’t know what got into him.


  2. Some of the worst offenders may be the adults who should know better, but don’t.


  3. January 1, 2005 – My girlfriend and I go to see an afternoon showing of the Incredibles. I’m not sure why we thought seeing an animated movie on a holiday afternoon was a good idea. A family arrived late, and the two kids were seated in our row with the parents elsewhere.

    The kids kept going back and forth, to what purpose, I don’t know. On about the third trip back to their seat (All within the first hour of the movie) I grabbed one of the kids and sternly said, “This is your last trip. Sit in your seat.”

    The kids didn’t move again.


  4. Kids have short attention spans, fact of life right? But if you know that your kid has a particularly short one, then don’t take them to places like the movies! A place that demands quiet from the audience. If it’s a proven fact that your kid just can’t behave in public, then hire the sitter. Because the rest of us want to enjoy our night out and not have the backs of our seats kicked or listen to a crying baby. Because usually, that’s what we went out to get away from in the first place…


    • AMEN! Children need to understand that it’s often appropriate to act differently when in public than when at home. But the movie theater, where people are paying as much as $15.00 per ticket for a couple hours’ of entertainment, is not the place to teach them!


  5. We have been “that family” with the children. Before we knew my son had special needs we would give in to both our children’s begging to see the newest animated show. Each time I wanted to cry and pull my hair out by the end, and each time I swore I’d never do it again. Since learning of his needs, I’ve discovered the theaters that have special showings for kids with the same needs as he has and reserve his watching for those times.

    While the people you’re talking about obviously didn’t give a rat’s rear end about where they were and who they were disturbing, there are those of us that do try to give our kids a chance to have a special experience (be it movie, special restaurant or other special event) only to realize that, once again, it just won’t work. I’m always apologetic to those around me, but often times I just want to give the big F-U to those that look at me like I’m raising jungle animals. Trust me, I know. And it’s no picnic for me either.

    And sometimes I just have to leave early and chalk losing $40 in movie tickets up to being an idiot for even trying.


    • I understand your position. I expect to see kids at a kids’ movie and I’m glad that they get to go. I commend you for taking your because I understand that it can be quite the undertaking. You, clearly, are observant, polite and aware of others around you.

      The movie that we went to see was rated PG-13 so small children in the audience were not anticipated. An attentive and considerate parent like yourself surely sets a good example.

      Thanks for sharing! Your perspective is always interesting, informative and well stated. (i.e. You ROCK!)


      • Any parent that takes a child to a PG-13 movie in the theater should be spanked. a) there’s a lot of crap in a 13 movie that little ones probably shouldn’t see and b) it’s rude to everyone over the age of 13.

        I didn’t mean to unload my crap experiences on you, I know you think I’m fabulous. 😉


        • And I think I read another comment about an animated movie which made me think that’s where you were at. I’m glad you weren’t because I was really trying to figure out which animated film that’s out right now would require a lot of attention to follow it. HA. 🙂


        • My entire post was an unloading a crap experience! It’s what I do! 😉


  6. I liked you comment about offering to pay for the parents babysitter – I would have turned around & asked the parents to reimburse me for my ticket, so I could stay for the next show & actually enjoy the movie this time!


    • Seriously! The cost of going to the movies is really starting to outweigh the benefits. For what we spend on two tickets a bucket of popcorn and a couple drinks, we could wait six months, buy the DVD and have a nice dinner before watching it.

      It’s time for me to reevaluate the frequency of my movie going.


  7. $20 for a babysitter these days would get you 1.5 hrs.

    I would have asked them to reimburse me.

    My theater has both Children specific and Adults Only showings.

    I bring my own snacks and drinks. I’ve even brought Chinese food! I just make sure it’s a light showing and that I’m not sitting near anyone.


    • Goes to show how long it’s been since I hired a sitter! LOL

      I love the idea of Children specific and Adults Only showings!

      The only thing I sneak into a movie with any regularity is Junior Mints. They’re $1.00 per box at Walgreens and $4.50 at the concession stand. Do I feel guilty? Heck no!

      Thanks for reading!


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