I suppose this is quite a minor breach compared to some of the other stories on here, but one of them reminded of a cinema visit my boyfriend and I had last summer that left me completely speechless, so I thought I would share. We had gone to see a certain film based on a certain video game that was rated 12A (which in the UK means that a child of any age can see the film, but has to be accompanied by an adult). The film had been out for some time and the theatre was mostly empty apart from ourselves and a group of three other people. We had been sat there a few minutes, waiting for the lights to go down when suddenly in walks a young couple complete with young toddler in tow. This poor boy cannot have been older than 4 years old, he was tiny. The father was even carrying one of those fold-up buggies, he was that young. My boyfriend and I exchange looks, clearly thinking the same thing, “Damn, that kid is way too young to see this film.” We see the people in the row across from us also exchange looks.
As they walk in, this boy is jabbering away to his parents who completely ignore him, instead concentrating on where they want to sit. They decide to take the seats directly behind the ones my boyfriend and I are sat in. Now, I know this isn’t a hanging offence, but there was a whole empty theatre of seats to choose from. In hindsight, they probably sat there because it was close to the exit. The whole time this poor little kid is chattering and squawking right behind us, being completely ignored by his parents. When the lights start to go down, the mother finally says to him, and I quote ‘This is a cinema *name of child*, when the lights go down it means you need to be quiet’. To which the little boy responds ‘Why?’. This little boy had clearly never been to the cinema before and didn’t really understand what was going on. What made the parents think it was appropriate for him to see that particular film in the first place is beyond me, but what possessed them to choose it as his first cinema experience ever is even further from my comprehension.
To cut a long story short, the boy was far from quiet. The film was violent and involved scenes of war and death (not bloody death, but still) from the very start. Pretty soon, the boy starts to cry. The mother says something along the lines of ‘There, there’ to comfort him and proceeds to ignore his tears for a good few minutes. The crying quickly turns to screaming. Finally the Dad picks the poor boy up and carries him out of the theatre. After about 5 minutes they return and the boy is no longer screaming. Sighs of relief from everyone else in the cinema. Dad plonks the kid back down in his seat and goes back to watching the film. This process repeats itself several times. Crying. Ignoring. Leaving. Returning. Over and over and over. At one point, one of the people from the other group there says loudly that they are going to get a member of staff. They return to the theatre alone. No member of staff comes to intervene.
Towards the very end of the film, the boy tries to climb over the back of the theatre seats and there is an audible ‘thump’ as he falls and hurts himself. He, of course, starts screaming again. The wonderful parents again leave the poor boy to cry and cry, despite being quite obviously hurt. This was presumably because we were by this point at the key part of the film where the whole storyline comes together and, they didn’t want to miss it. Unfortunately, we all miss it because no-one can hear a thing over the cries of this distressed child. Before the film ends, the parents finally gather the boy up and leave, without returning this time, having ruined the entire film for everyone.
I would like to stress that I in no way blame the child for what happened, those parents needed smacking for thinking that bringing a child that age to see that film was a good idea. 1126-10