Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Do You Know Where You Children Are

There are 3 main movie theaters me and the boy wind up going to see a movie at. We do have a favorite, but depending on our plans will be willing to go to any one of those 3.

At the start of the summer on of the theaters implemented a new policy. They were no longer going to sell tickets to anyone under 17 for movies starting after 9pm, and they were allow children under the age of 6 see an R rated movie after 8 pm. (I might have the times and ages slightly off, but in general those were the new guideline.)

Not that longer afterwards, a second theater took up the same policy. Which meant there was only one theater in town where teens to really go to hang out on a weekend. This was, of course, at my favorite theater.

Now this theater is in a really cute area, surround by a bunch of different businesses. There's a bookstore, a bunch of stores, and some restaurants as well. It's a fun place to hangout in general, and there's always been a good amount of high schoolers hanging around. But as you might imagine since it was the only theater they could go to no, things were starting to get a little crazy.

Don't get me wrong, I wasn't a teen that long ago. And I do remember a movie theater implementing a similar policy. Lucky for me this was senior year, which meant most of my friends were over 18 and could be my so-called guardian. So I do understand the fact that as a teen you want to have something to do.

But it was getting to the point where you could barely walk to the theater because there were so many kids hanging out on the sidewalk. I had some friends that went to go see Halloween 2 and actually asked a group of teen-aged boys to quiet down so they could hear the movie. When they kept talking, and they had no idea what was happening in the movie, they left the theater and asked for their money. Overall, it was getting pretty ugly.

But last weekend when we went to see 9, the boy dropped me off to buy tickets and went to go park the car. I started walking to the theater, and a police officer stopped me, "Excuse me Miss, but how old are you?"

I was so surprised that he was asking me this I really couldn't remember. I thought about it a bit and was finally able to tell him I was actually 24. But really the amount of time it took me to come up with that, I'm not sure I would have believed myself. Luckily the police officer did because it turns out the entire complex (aka movies, bookstores, shops, and restaurants) would no longer allow anyone under 17 on site (without a guardian) after 8pm (or it could have been 7pm or 9pm). Either way, it was awfully nice news for me. And the way things were going it was something that had to be done.

But if I were a teen I could see myself being awfully disappointed with the news. I guess you could still go to a movie at 6 or 7pm. But it must be putting a damper on a lot of kids' plans. Anyone else have on thoughts on this situation? Do you think we should no longer allow teens to be out at a bookstore or at dinner or at a movie after 8pm? I do you think all the theaters made a great decision?


  1. I can totally see how it must have sucked for you to have all those teens hanging around your favourite theatre, but personally, I think it's kind of silly that the theatres did that. I mean, what else are they supposed to do?

    In my opinion there should be MORE safe, fun, drug and alcohol-free places for teenagers to go and hang out because then they would be more likely to stay out of trouble. When a business closes it's doors to teenagers it's just sending them somewhere else to make trouble.

    Also, 17 is a bit ridiculous. I mean, I was only 17 when I graduated high school! I could see them making that rule for under 14, maybe. But 17, really!

    That is pretty hilarious the cop stopped you and asked you how old you were! Haha. It would have been even funnier if he'd id'ed you :P

  2. I've been out of the loop on this! I didn't know the theaters were implementing such rules and I have a 17 year old brother!

  3. Honestly I think it's a good idea. First of all I don't want to watch a movie with a 100 screaming teens where I can't actually hear it.

    Don't get me wrong, I was a teen not so long ago and I remember what it was like. The evenings is when fun time starts. However...they need to chill and act right or the places wouldn't have started a ban in the first place.

  4. I honestly have no idea if they have rules like this around here. I guess I am entirely too out of the loop. T and I usually go to movies on a week day evening or afternoon with the intent of avoiding crowds. It works out pretty well for us.
    I don't think it is a bad idea but, like Amber(above) said, 17 does seem a little bit tight. I, too, was 17 when I graduated from high school.
    I wonder how much that will affect the sales of midnight premieres. I used to go all the time in high school and the early years of college, but I guess I am getting to "old" for that. ;)

  5. 8 pm does seem a little bit early, but it does seem like a good idea. We have a movie theater around here that is in a very nice shopping complex w/ resturants etc. and when you come out of the movie theater you can barely make it though the crowd of teenagers hanging out outside.

  6. I agree with Amber! 17 is a bit too old.

    I keep getting carded lately when I go buy wine! Hadn't happened in a while so it actually makes me happy :P

  7. Unless they make other places available to them, teen will wind up loitering somewhere else. Sad fact is that most teens don't have a place to hang out. Our town has a couple of teen centers that are run by non-profits like the Boys and Girls club or the city.
    It's unfortunate that they are doing this where you live but it takes a few rotten apples to spoil it for everyone.