If parents really want to give their kids a movie night, they’ll pay

Sunday, August 13th, 2017

Virginia Postrel recently went to see Atomic BLonde, and someone brought two kids to the very R-rated movie:

Its fight scenes are lethal and bloody. “Character is choked with a garrote, very visible and intense, lasts for a :30-:60 seconds,” is one note from IMDB’s parents guide. The only respite from the mayhem is a lesbian love scene.


Like most U.S. theaters, AMC bars kids under 6 from R-rated movies after 6:00 p.m. “Since implementing this policy, guest complaints concerning noise in the theatres have decreased significantly,” a spokeswoman told me by email. Our 7:15 showing was covered by the rule — and demonstrated its flaws.

The first is that children under 6 don’t have driver’s licenses. If the parents say the kids qualify for admission, the theater has to take their word for it. Unless a child is so disruptive that the rest of the audience complains, it’s easy enough to break the rule. Maybe the kids near us were 6, maybe not.

The second is that the mere presence of children too young to understand a movie disturbs other audience members.


Instead of charging children $3.00 less than adults at R-rated movies, charge them $5.00 more. If parents really want to give their kids a movie night, they’ll pay. But if they just don’t want to pay a babysitter, they’ll stay home and let everyone else enjoy the show.

I still remember someone bringing little kids to the matinée of Gladiator years ago. Not cool.


  1. Watcher says:

    It’s not just movies.where parenting skills are lacking I was in a video store and a father with a five year old was pulling DVDs of horror movies off the shelf and saying to the little kid, “You’ll enjoy this one.”

  2. Faze says:

    Two things I remember about seeing “The Exorcist” in its first theatrical run in the 1970s: The movie scared the living daylights out of my girlfriend and I (we left the theater, walked into a bar and ordered whiskey — something we never did), and an idiot couple had brought their 9 to 11 year old children, whose innocent faces gaped with horror as the action intensified, and who then began violently kicking the seats in front of them until their parents took them out of theater.

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