Kids and movies

[Cross-Posted at Game Theorist] Has The Age gone completely mad? It’s opinion pieces are simply crazy. Last week we had private education, this week Jim Schembri wants to ban kids from movies: even Shrek!

CHILDREN should not be allowed in cinemas. Please don’t take that the wrong way, especially if you are a kid. This is not an anti-kid tirade. Kids are wonderful and endearing and full of energy. Kids are our future and are also the best source of non-electronic entertainment we have.

But they also have their place and that place is at home watching new-release movies on DVD, not in the cinema sitting next to some hapless adult who is sitting through Shrek the Third because he has to.

Let me begin with his Top 10 list. I defy anyone to identify an item there that does not apply to some adult, somewhere who has attended a movie. Do you mean no adult has ever not followed a plot (perhaps all of them in Russian Ark), asked stupid questions (Jerry Seinfeld admitted that one), are loud (!), light up (well adults have big hair), don’t understand furniture (have you ever fought over an arm rest), stare (that isn’t movies, that’s kids in public), make weird sounds (listen to anyone eat popcorn), kick (what happens when an adult wants to go to the bathroom in the middle of a movie?), have lousy parents (umm, adults don’t have parents?), are violent (our prisons are apparently empty).

It turns out Jim that movie theatres have worried about this sort of thing. First, they schedule some movies late at night (if you want to see Shrek kid free try tonight’s 9pm session) or on school days. Second, kids generally go to movies for kids.

Now I am willing to admit, some kids aren’t well-behaved. But an outright, age discriminatory ban. Look, even with a grain of salt, the column wasn’t even funny. If you want a funny take on kids at the movies see here.

[Update: it seems that Regal Threatres in the US wants to solve the general problem. They are introducing a device that will allow moviegoers to complain about others — adults or children. Now that should be interesting to watch especially if the movie is bad. Do they have a button for that too?]

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