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R- Rated Parenting…as in “Really Reeks Of Righteous Retchedness”

During my university days, I had the interesting experience of working at the local movie theater for a year.  While age rules are somewhat lax (it really is hard to card for a PG-13 movie when most people in the states don’t have any form if ID until they’re at least 15 or 16), there were two things we were strict about.  No one under the age of 18 could see an R-rated movie without their partent/legal guardian present (this one was actually law, and carried an automatic $5,000 fine if we were caught breaking it), and after 6pm, no one under the age of six was allowed in an R-rated movie at all (this was only company policy, but we enforced it just as strictly).  I can think of dozens of stories off the top of my head where we had problems with this, but one in particular stands out.

A woman bought three tickets to an R-rated movie, then instantly turned around and gave them to three boys (who looked to be between the ages of 8 and 12) and told them to enjoy their show.  I immediately turned the microphone back on, saying, “Ma’am?  Children under the age of 18 are not allowed to see that movie without a parent in the theater with them.  You’ll either have to accompany them yourself, or I can exchange the tickets for another movie.”

She then spent the next five minutes trying to argue that since she – their mother – had bought the tickets, she was giving her permission for them to watch the show, and didn’t actually need to be in attendance.  I did my best to deal with her calmly and politely, even offering to refund the tickets entirely if that was her preference.  Still, she persisted.  Finally, after I offered to call my manager down so he could speak with her, she bought herself a ticket.

I quickly phoned the ushers to warn them that we might have a “ditching parent,” our catch phrase for parents who would seat their children in the theater, then skip out on the movie itself.  So when the boys tried to get past the ticket taker without their mother present, they were once again informed that they had to have a parent or guardian with them to see an R-rated film.  It took another five minutes to relocate the woman – who by this time probably felt rather harassed, though we were as polite as possible – and she went into the theater with her boys.

As soon as the credits started, however, she slipped out the door and began walking toward the exit.  By this time, the managers had been informed of the situation, and one of the ushers pointed her out to them.  The two of them politely stopped her at the door, and informed her that she needed to stay with her sons for the entire movie, or the boys would be escorted out of the show.  Sighing, she went back in.

Not long afterward, the usher on rounds ducked in to check the theater (no, not just becaus of the woman; we check each showing several times, just in case anything goes wrong with either film, theater or audience) and found the three boys alone, no mother in sight.  The managers were informed, and they escorted the very loudly upset children out of the theater.  The three boys were parked on a bench in the lobby to wait, and an usher was assigned to keep an eye on them – both to make sure they didn’t sneak back in as well as to see that nothing happened to them while they waited.

Then our security guard arrived.  He was a city police officer, and worked at the theater on weekend evenings when he was off-duty.  After hearing the entire situation from the management, he went back out to his car, changed into his uniform, and was waiting beside the boys when their mother finally arrived to pick them up – more than an hour after the show they’d been trying to see had let out.

Furious that we had kicked her boys out of the movie, she started railing at the security officer that she wanted her money back, and that it was theft.  He, however, calmly informed her that there was a $5,000 fine for under-aged attendance in a rated-R movie… per child.

As she digested that, he informed her that he could be persuaded not to press charges against her, but she needed to leave the establishment, and neither she nor her sons would be welcome there again.

On her way out the door she still stopped by the box office and demanded her money back.  As polite as ever, I gave it to her and wished her a nice day.  I got the finger in return.  Oh, well.    0815-10


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Skoffin August 18, 2010, 6:23 am

    I’m not sure why the money was given back considering that she was told many times that she could not leave her children there, and that she had been caught and told again multiple times. She was blatantly breaking rules that she knew about. I do not believe she was entitled to the money back, so I’m curious as to why it was given.

  • Simone August 18, 2010, 6:37 am

    Unbelivable. What an incredibly poor example of parenting. Scratch that. What an incredibly poor example of being a person. I shudder to think what her children will grow up like.

  • Simone August 18, 2010, 6:38 am

    On a brighter note… Awesome title 🙂

  • ginlyn32 August 18, 2010, 7:08 am

    It’s about time establishments enforced the rules, policies and LAWS! I know alot of places where the management would have just shrugged their shoulders and said “Oh well” and told the associates to let the kids in the movie, so as not to loose a customer. Cause we all know, “The customer is always right”.

    No, in this case, the customer was not only WRONG, the customer was Breaking the Law! I wish I knew the name of the theater and I would send them a letter praising their efforts.

  • jen August 18, 2010, 7:39 am

    I’m hoping that when she got home and had time to think about it she felt a little bit of remorse for her rudeness. I doubt it, though.

  • Rachel S August 18, 2010, 9:14 am

    There are two things wrong with this story, if it’s taking place in the US:

    First, R rated movies are restricted at age 17, not 18. Secondly, the MPAA ratings are not enforced by law- it’s a voluntary contract between the theaters and the studios.

    It is certainly within the theater’s right to enforce the MPAA standards, and yes, the mother’s behavior was extremely self righteous and rude (“I’m going to parent my children anyway I please, even if it’s against this establishment’s rules, and don’t you dare try and stop me!”), but the security officer insinuating that they could press legal charges on her was, at the very least, highly misleading.

  • Jillybean August 18, 2010, 9:15 am

    Love the theater’s follow through! That said, I think it’s absurd that children of any age are allowed in just because they are with a parent. Should be something like 13 and older allowed with a parent. Because some parents have no clue and will allow their children to watch anything – and while that’s their right at home, I hate seeing a child exposed to things they have no business being exposed to simply because their parent wanted to see the movie and didn’t have sitter or what have you. It completely ruins my enjoyment as I cringe at what the child is seeing.

    Years ago, my sister and I went to see “The Basketball Diaries” with Leonardo DiCaprio. Leo’s character has a drug problem and does some pretty unsavory things to score drugs. One scene shows him proposition a man and then only shows the scene from outside a bathroom stall. You see nothing but what you’d see if you glanced under the stall to see if it was occupied, so it’s no graphic, but easy to determine what’s happening. My sister and I sat there horrified while a nearby patron quietly explained to her child (who was no more than 7), what Leo was doing behind the door.

  • Daisy August 18, 2010, 9:23 am

    It’s nice when children learn new skills: in this case, lying, cheating, and sneaking around. Imagine how happy Mom will be when the kids use their new skills to get around HER rules. What goes around, comes around!

  • Barb August 18, 2010, 10:14 am

    While I agree that the mother was incredibly rude, I think it’s silly that a parent can’t decide what movies are appropriate for their children. For example, I know what each of my DD’s can handle when it comes to content, I should be able to decide if they can see a movie.

    When I was a teenager (pre age 17). My mom would give me permission to see certain movies without her. She would buy the tickets for me and an friend and in we went.

    I think we have way too much of a nanny state these days with others thinking they know what is best for other’s children.

  • Spoder August 18, 2010, 10:26 am

    The whole time I was reading this story, I couldn’t fathom what kind of person would actually want her young children to watch an R-rated movie, given that the ratings are there for a reason.

    Then I saw the final couple of sentences…oh, right. THAT kind of person. :0

  • Manoomin August 18, 2010, 10:27 am

    @Skoffin: I agree that she didn’t deserve to get her money back, but from the theater’s point of view I can see why they did it. Sometimes the best thing to do with a customer who has been causing you problems is to just get them to go away. I suspect they were just trying to avoid her pitching yet another fit and causing one last scene.

  • Asharah August 18, 2010, 10:37 am

    Rachel S, couldn’t there have been a local ordinance regarding fining a parent for leaving a child at an “R” movie alone?

  • DGS August 18, 2010, 10:38 am

    I wouldn’t have refunded the mother’s money – she broke the rules, kept trying to break them when she was caught the first time and behaved atrociously. And what exactly will her kids learn – lying, cheating, rudeness, tantrums and obnoxious, entitled rudeness. In other words, narcissism at its finest. Don’t blame the schools, the community and the media, Mom, when your kids begin disrespecting you! Not to mention that there is a reason why R-rated movies have restricted access for younger children – perhaps, because they are too young, too impressionable and not mature enough to handle the content? Ridiculous parenting, but wonderful behavior on the part of the movie theater.

  • AS August 18, 2010, 10:55 am

    @Skoffin, I suppose money was given back to avoid any more scenes from the mother.

    @Rachel S., I suppose many states even in the USA do impose the R-rated movies, and/or have random checks by the police to make sure they are not allowing children.

    @OP – the parent seemed really rude. What was she thinking – she wants to have some time personal time without the kids, and hence the best option was to make them watch an R-rated movie while she enjoys her time out. Or is it that they were throwing a tantrum that they wanted to watch, and she had no control over them, and she does not like the movie. I am curious what genre of R it was. I can see some adults not liking horror or extremely violent movies.

  • Kriss August 18, 2010, 11:04 am

    Rachel, the US is a big place. Fifty states and some odd territories, each with their own set of laws and regulations. MPAA R ratings may not be enforced by law where you live but perhaps it is where OP lives.

    There is nothing that irks me more online than someone applying their own local set of rules on the world at large. You are in no position to tell anyone they are wrong when you don’t know a thing about them or where they come from.

  • LJR August 18, 2010, 11:20 am

    Rachel S: That depends on where in the US they are. For instance, a quick Google search turns up a Tennessee state law that says that you must be 18 to see an R-rated movie if not accompanied by a parent or guardian, and has since the late 1980s.

    However, I suspect that the OP is in Canada, based on some of the phrasing in the post.

  • Breezy Girl August 18, 2010, 11:42 am

    Kudos for the theatre for enforcing the rules! It astounds me how lackadaisical some parents have become in parenting and how they force others (in this case, the theatre) to act as the responsible adult.

    A few years ago, my friend and I went to see some George Clooney/Jennifer Lopez movie, in which George is stabbed with a shiv in prison. Not exactly appropriate viewing for young adults, much less toddlers/infants. And yet someone thought it was a good idea to take their little one to this movie and continue to sit there while the child screamed “Mommy, I’m scared!” over and over.

    Not even when other patrons asked the woman to please quiet her child down did the woman leave with her terrified child. An usher finally had to escort her out.

    It makes me wonder what effect the movie had on those little boys in the OP’s story or would have if the theatre hadn’t enforced the rules.

  • Gilles August 18, 2010, 12:00 pm

    I’m not 100% sure, but the poster may live in Australia. I know the age to se R-rated movies is 18 there, and I think it actually is law to keep them out.

  • Shalamar August 18, 2010, 12:15 pm

    Me, I feel sorry for the kids. They were probably excited about seeing the movie and had their fun spoiled by their stupid mother. Then she leaves them to wait for her until an hour after the movie’s over? Mother of the Year, for sure.

  • ferretrick August 18, 2010, 12:16 pm

    @Skoffin – having worked customer service, sometimes you just give in to get them out of the place. There comes a point where its not worth it, especially if they are causing a scene that’s ruining other customers enjoyment of the establishment.

  • Psyche August 18, 2010, 12:41 pm

    And the funny thing is that years from now, the mother will wonder why her kids are so screwed up and blame violent movies.

  • RP August 18, 2010, 1:00 pm

    Rachel S is right: the MPAA ratings have no force of law. IIRC, there were states that have tried to make it illegal for minors to watch R-rated films in theaters (though I could be confusing that with the laws regarding M-rated games) but as far as I can tell all of those attempts failed. So unless there’s some state law I’m missing in my Google search that theater had no business telling its patrons that there was a fine associated with minors watching an R-rated film.

    The mom, on the other hand, had no business trying to skirt the theater’s policy or getting mad at them each time they enforced it. I’ll give the theater kudos for enforcing their policies but I would not have refunded the money. This was the mom’s fault as she was told multiple times she had to stay with her kids. If she didn’t like it she should have exchanged the tickets for a non-R movie or stayed their with them.

  • kero August 18, 2010, 2:01 pm

    I’m so glad to hear about an establishment that actually enforces the rules and not just let it slip by!! Although I think it is too nice of the OP to return their money seeing that the mother was warned many times.

  • Lianne August 18, 2010, 3:23 pm

    @ Rachel S

    Even if it is in the US, there is a possibility that there is a local or state ordinance in effect that could put the force of law behind the MPAA ratinng, similar to how some states actually require a person to be 18 in order to see an “NC-17” movie even the the MPAA rates it as being good for 17 and older.

  • Princesssimmi August 18, 2010, 4:23 pm

    I think this might have happened in Australia, some of the elements sound familiar.

    Regardless, I hope that mother learned a lesson (although I doubt it) – your children are your responsibility. If you don’t want to have responsibility, don’t have children. If you do have a child and are unwilling to care for it, adopt it out. I’m so sick of seeing parents who care for their own happiness more than they care about their children’s minds and childhood.

    My view is that no child under 18 should be allowed to view R rated movies at all. They don’t have the mental capacity and life experience to tell them that just because George or Leo or Brad is doing it, it’s not a good/right thing to do. Sure, once you’re 18, experiment- smoke cigarettes, smoke pot, get drunk and vomit, have sex with whoever you want. But when I see children at 12 who
    are pregnant, wearing bras at 6, doing drugs and drinking alcohol at 14, I wonder where the parents are. No, wait, the parents are normally the ones in the flashy new car, new expensive
    clothes, perfect hair/makeup/nails that are too interested in their own personal happiness than letting their children have a childhood. Or they are so drunk/drugged out themselves they just plain don’t give a crap about what their children get up to.

    What happened to children just being children and climbing trees, making mud sculptures, catching bugs, etc?

  • *Caitlin* August 18, 2010, 4:40 pm

    Then perhaps this takes place in Canada, because here, the R-rated movies are in fact restricted to the age of 18, and there is a fine.

  • Jenn August 18, 2010, 5:12 pm

    Wait a minute , you mean people outside the United States have the internet? And other countries don’t all have the same laws and regulations we do in America? Wow!

    I get a strange mixture of glee and annoyance out of the major lack of etiquette or whatever you want to call it rampant on the web. Which is worse though – spouting off about something/flinging accusations (i.e. accusing people of lying) when you don’t have all the information/are making assumptions or rudely calling people out on their spouting off? Hmm….

    Kudos to the theatre for obeying the law and helping these children see that the law must be obeyed, even if their mom would have them believe otherwise!

  • Kendra August 18, 2010, 5:12 pm

    It looks like enforcement of MPAA ratings is a state to state and even a city to city enforcement. I found a couple of states that have laws and fines enforcing MPAA ratings. Utah was one. Also, I believe that my city also has a fine for breaking MPAA ratings, at least that’s what the sign in our theater says. It was difficult to find this information online, I think because it is a region to region thing. Personally, law or no (I think it was law, or the police officer wouldn’t have told the lady about the fine) it was policy, and therefore, that woman should have either stayed with the boys or bought tickets to a rated PG or lower movie. She was told multiple times, and still ignored the rules. If it had happened in my town, when the usher found the boys alone, especially since the mother had been informed multiple times, CPS would have been called, and when the mother arrived, her boys would have been long gone. It’s called child abandonment. This isn’t to be mean, it’s just policy in most of the places that children are likely to be patrons. Anyway, I guess that mother taught her children that they don’t have to follow rules if they don’t want to, so isn’t she going to be surprised when they don’t want to follow her rules.

  • Dina August 18, 2010, 5:13 pm

    I actually suspect that this *wasn’t* in Australia, since the R rating here is called R18+ and we don’t have PG-13 movies here… (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Classification_Board#Film_and_video_game_classifications)

    Canada doesn’t appear to have a PG-13 rating, either. Unless this entry’s been Americanized, I’d say it’s likely it took place in the US.

    That being said, yes, there are local ordinances in the United States that can restrict kids from seeing films in this manner.

  • Candra August 18, 2010, 5:34 pm

    I’m shocked at this lady’s gall– demanding her money back after being told she could face $15,000 in fines? No way would I have forked over a dime to her. She caused more hassle and time than the likely $35 in ticket money she paid.

  • Calypso August 18, 2010, 5:47 pm

    Re refunding the money: many many years ago, I worked in a chain movie theater whose policy was to refund a patron’s money if they asked…for any reason. Or none. If they watched 65 minutes of a 70 minute movie and then walked out, claiming they “didn’t like the movie”. (I can’t tell you how many people came to “Fantasia” when it was re-released for the big screen…yes, I am *that* old….stayed with their kids long enough to have them see Mickey Mouse in the “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” piece, then left demanding their money back…and they’d get it).
    Stupid, stupid policy. Well, I’m not a business person, what do I know. ;(

  • danielle August 18, 2010, 5:58 pm

    to those who claim to have googled this issue and not found anything that pertains to MPAA ratings and the affect of them on laws, may I suggest you try again, as Wikipedia has a rather long entry regarding MPAA rules and restrictions for 51 countries.

  • danielle August 18, 2010, 6:00 pm

    also to the person who mentioned not being able to get into an R rated movie at the age of 16, was it R or NC-17 which means no one 17 or under is allowed into the movie, so what makes you think being 16 should let you in?

  • Kovitlac August 18, 2010, 7:14 pm

    RP: You wouldn’t be confusing it with M-rated games. Unless you’re talking about a very specific city or town ordinance, there is no law against minors playing M-rated games. Most retailers voluntarily refuse to sell M-rated games to anyone under 17.

    As for the actual story, it’s disgusting that any parent would be so determined to break the rules, just so their children could see something they probably shouldn’t. Funny enough, I actually have a short story that went the opposite way.

    My brother and I were seeing The Matrix 2 with our parents (we were under 17, but not by much, and we were wish our parents), when a lady burts into the theater and begin demanding very loudly that her children (a few boys) leave the theater that very instant. I could certainly understand her anger, but her only response to those of us asking her to please quiet down was to curse angrily and continue screaming at her boys.

    I actually wish the theaters around here were as strict with their IDing. There’s nothing quite like an otherwise good movie being interrupted by giggling pre-teens.

  • Wendy August 18, 2010, 8:41 pm

    I don’t understand the above comment about 6 year olds wearing bras. How is this the fault of the parent? Kids are entering puberty younger and younger these days – I just don’t see how a child needing a bra at the age of 6 is a parenting fail?

  • jayne August 18, 2010, 9:07 pm

    Wendy – it’s not about the few kids who need the bra’s at age 6. It’s the totally flat 6 year old girls who ask for the padded bra’s so that they can look “sexy”. And yes, some people market those types of bra’s just for that reason. And even worse, some mom’s buy them for that reason.

  • PrincessSimmi August 18, 2010, 9:31 pm

    @ Wendy,

    I would never have a problem with a 6 year old wearing a bra if they actually needed it. It’s when they don’t need it, and they’re wearing lacy see-through bras with chicken fillets to fill them out, complete with matching panties, that’s when I have a problem. I didn’t need a bra until I was 10, and I developed VERY early, so I can’t ever see a 6 year old needing one. It makes them a target for all sorts of unsavoury people and makes them grow up way too fast.

  • Kate August 18, 2010, 9:52 pm

    In Canada it is an enforceable fine. In many theaters in my area as a matter of policy, and to prevent such occurrences entrance to anybody 18 or younger is not permitted to restricted movies.

    As a frequent patron of movies, I completely understand this, and like many find the mothers behavior to be abysmal. The fact is that some things just should not be seen by children, and without adult supervision children often behave inappropriate when faced with very adult situations on screen. This is disruptive to other patron and possibly disturbing or traumatizing for the child.

    While some people here have argued that we should be able to decide what is best for our children, I would have to disagree. The fact is that some parents have lousy judgment. Children need to be protected from parents with lousy judgment. We have seen on E-hell all too many times parents willingness to put their children in bad situations, whether it be because they feel entitled or they are just plain stupid. While a 17 year old seeing a movie with adult themes is not a big deal – it is a huge deal for an 8 year old. The mother was wrong. She was exercising extremely poor judgment which could have harmed her children. Kudos to the OP for stepping in an monitoring the situation to ensure that somebody was looking out for the children.

  • Michelle Prieur August 19, 2010, 12:17 am

    Barb-there is a reason those ratings are in place. I have a child and I know what she can handle to an extent, but when I get a babysitter and I go out, I don’t want to deal with kids at an R rated movie theater or anywhere else kids shouldn’t be. I thought my child could handle the PG 13 rated fourth Harry Potter movie, so I took her. Well, we missed half of it when she freaked at one of the scenes. I, doing what I should do, took her out and left. Sure, most teenagers wouldn’t do that, but if they make an exception for just barely under the age, they will have to make an exception for all.

  • Elle August 19, 2010, 12:23 am

    @ RP
    Business have the right to refuse to service anyone for any reason. And you have the right to not patronize them if you disagree with their policies.

    And there’s actually a theater I like to patronize because they do not allow children under 16 into R-rated movies after 8 PM. It cuts down on a lot of idiocy caused by parents bringing teeny kids into R rated movies.

  • anotherloginname August 19, 2010, 1:28 am

    Yay for the theatre!

    I’m sick of those parents who say “they are my kids, I know what they can handle” when they haven’t even seen the movie. If you’ve seen it, fine. But don’t inflict inflict them on the rest of us in unsuitable movies just because you’re too lazy to come with them. There is no faster way to ruin a movie than having a child seated next to you during a raunchy sex scene- unless of course its their tears and screams when it’s too scary.

  • Izzy August 19, 2010, 1:53 am

    “I don’t understand the above comment about 6 year olds wearing bras. How is this the fault of the parent? Kids are entering puberty younger and younger these days – I just don’t see how a child needing a bra at the age of 6 is a parenting fail?”
    There are two types of 6 year olds needing bras: The overweight or the jailbait. Both are parent-fails, if you don’t have the discipline to keep your child on a healthy diet and exercise plan then you’re predisposing your child to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, etc. 6 year olds aren’t the ones who fill the house with junk food and choose fast food over regular meals – constantly giving them fat and cholesterol can cause malnutrition, and is almost a type of child abuse
    There are another type of bra for 6 year olds that are flashy, similar to bikinis but “underwear” types with padding (what’s there to pad?!) which gets girls used to the idea there should be something there when they look down, and when dressed normally gives them…two lumps that stick out. How is that beneficial to the child? Your kid can look cute and flat chested, by giving them bras you’ve taught them they need boobs to be cute. While i’m on this rant, what sick person designed bikinis for little girls? can 6 year olds even tie a bikini? (The answer is not very well, and my advice is to have a towel on hand as the child or a curious friend tugs it by accident) Is there a pedophile out there somewhere gleeful that little girls all over the world have learnt to display as much of their body as possible?

    Ahem. Good work OP, wish the cop had fined this mother tho ^^

  • Cattra August 19, 2010, 2:12 am

    I think it is disgraceful parenting that a mother can leave her children watching something that is clearly inappropriate.

    “I actually suspect that this *wasn’t* in Australia, since the R rating here is called R18+ and we don’t have PG-13 movies here… ”
    *Dina*, we actually do have PG rated movies in Australia.

    But I think the OP is Canadian or American
    “I had the interesting experience of working at the local movie theater ”

    What some countries call a movie theatre, Australians call the cinemas. Also, we spell theatre “theatRE” not “theatER”. (unless, yes, this entry has been Americanised).

    Good work on enforcing keeping the children out of the movies regardless of where the venue was. Children are given too much freedom to watch violent/sexual/inappropriate content.

    *Wendy*, a child needing a bra isn’t a parenting fail, a parent letting a child wear one who does not (as most do not) is.

  • Simone August 19, 2010, 2:33 am

    I’m from Australia and I thought that you couldn’t go into an R rated movie *at all* if you were under 18. You certainly can’t hire them from a video store (although obviously once you have it there is no way to determine who watches it). I could be wrong though, I’m no expert.

    I do however know that there is no R rated movie I have ever seen that I would consider appropriate for a 12 year old child (perhaps R rating is applied differently in other countries, so I am speaking of movies rated R in Australia, here). I don’t think it’s as simple as saying ‘leave it up to the parents’. In my experience some parents can have remarkable opinions as to what is suitable for children.

  • ferretrick August 19, 2010, 6:00 am

    BTW, I can top all your kids in R rated movie stories. I saw SCREAM 3 (!) on opening night with some friends. The theater was near sold out. About two minutes before the movie starts, a couple enters with a child who couldn’t have been more than 7. There were no three seats together left and I clearly heard one of the parents say, “Well, she’ll just have to sit by herself.”

  • Xtina August 19, 2010, 12:34 pm

    I’m in the U.S. I thought an R rating has, and always meant nobody under 18 without a parent. NC17 means “no children under 17”—period, with or without a parent.

    It is obvious that this mother was using the movie theater as a babysitter while she went out and had some “me” time or ran errands or whatever. That in itself is dangerous, rude, and an example of horrid parenting for many reasons, but why did she insist on the kids seeing a rated R movie as well? Couldn’t they just as easily gone to a G or PG movie instead of raising such a fuss with the theater management? If mom’s goal was to get out without her kids, that would have been better accomplished by complying with the theater’s rules.

    Good for the theater for actually monitoring and enforcing rules–good job! So many don’t–and I recall seeing quite a few R-rated movies when I was too young that I probably shouldn’t have seen because the theater management was slack. Although it is ultimately up to the parent to decide what their child should or should not see (even if it means waiting until a movie comes out on DVD), the bottom line is that there are rules in place, and no matter what your opinion about the need for them, they should be enforced and obeyed.

    Maybe the theater should have refunded half the woman’s money. Her kids did see approximately half the movie, haha. I can understand why they did refund it–it was probably better to just deal with it and let it go–but at the same time, a point should have been made about her not getting “free babysitting” at the expense of the theater.

  • Thea August 19, 2010, 2:39 pm


    The rule of thumb I was always taught in the US was: Theatre = stage and Theater = film.

    You would watch a play, musical, opera, etc. at a theatre.
    You watch a movie at a theater.

    It may not be universal, but its what I was taught!

  • Enna August 19, 2010, 3:53 pm

    I’d say report her to social services as she is abandoning her children besides breaking any laws/company policies. Letting her children watch an R Rated film? Constantly being told she needs to supervise her children. Child negelect.

  • Dina August 19, 2010, 5:04 pm

    @Cattra – yep, there are PG movies here, but PG and PG-13 are separate ratings in the US. PG-13 is roughly analogous to an Aussie M.

    @Simone – an R-rated movie in the US is more like a MA15+ or, in some cases, an R18+. The equivalent US rating is NC-17, but Australian ratings seem to be a bit stricter than in the US, so you’ll get a few that are R in the US and R18+ in Australia.

    I knew my expatness would come in handy someday! 😉

  • Gina August 19, 2010, 6:13 pm

    sounds like she needed a quick babysitter and thought sending the kids to the movies was a good idea. ugh. Glad the cinema/theater followed through on it!