By Jeff Whipple, vice president Megaplex Theatres
Kids watch movies all the time: at home on the TV, on mom’s tablet or dad’s computer and even riding in the minivan on the way to grandma’s house. They quote funny lines and sing along with favorite songs, but movies at the theatre are different.
With larger-than-life action heroes and amazing special effects filling the big screen, movies at the theatre have the ability to transport fans from everyday cares into the magic of imagination…that is until someone’s cell phone rings or a fidgety foot from behind turns the back of the seat into a soccer ball.
Here are a few tips to help parents guide their children into the magic of movies and help everyone in the theatre have a great time:
Choose wisely. Not every movie is appropriate for every guest. Watch previews and check trusted expert reviews for content advice to be sure the movie offers only good surprises. Know when to hire a sitter.
Plan ahead. Arrive in plenty of time to visit the rest room before the movie starts. Consider the length of the movie and the size of the drink before ordering an extra-large soda.
Use the lobby. Theatre lobbies are filled with fun movie posters, blinking lights and the smell of popcorn. Lobbies are the perfect place for chatting, texting, making calls and working out wiggles. Later, if a young guest needs a break from the movie, escort him to the lobby for a recess.
Guide little guests. Before entering the auditorium, briefly review movie manners.
Snack quietly. Movie munchies are part of the fun, unless passing the popcorn turns into an Olympic Sport. Also, help your children with wrappers to keep crinkling to a minimum.
Quiet please. Talking in the theatre should be left to the actors on screen. Even whispering can be distracting. Fussy infants and toddlers may be contagious, causing other guests to cry out in frustration.
Unplug. Shut down or silence cell phones, tablets, gadgets or toys that may cause disruption during the movie.
Happy helpers. Ushers and managers are always nearby. Let them know if something isn’t right in the theatre, and you can help them too by throwing away trash after the movie.
The bottom line for movie goers of any age is to consider the feelings of others.