Just Call Me the Movie Nazi …

24 Nov

When I went to see Happy Feet the other day, it reminded me of my idea that movie theaters should reserve one screening each day of new animated movies for adults only. I’m not saying kids can’t see the movie, I’m just saying let there be one screening every day where kids — admittedly, the movies’ target audience — aren’t getting up at inopportune times, aren’t laughing at the “wrong” places, aren’t being restless and aren’t talking, and where the parents don’t show up with their brood right as the movie starts (after the trailers) and aren’t rushing out as soon as the movie is over (before the credits have even started).

I know all animated movies don’t have all-ages appeal, but for many (like Happy Feet, or the Toy Story or Shrek movies) the film works on more levels than just its animation, so I think this would be a fair arrangement. Parents could bring their children to every other screening but this one (and we all know that animated movies are shorter than average movies, so there are more screenings available), and it would be at a more adult-friendly time, like 7 p.m., so the no-kids policy shouldn’t be much of an issue. (No trailers for stupid kids movies would probably be asking too much, I’d imagine, so I’ll hold off on that one.)

If you think my idea is ridiculous, consider that many movie theaters have mom- and kid-friendly screenings of new movies, where the mothers can feel free to bring their children, and are permitted to nurse them during the movie. These are held at convenient, daytime hours, when “normal” moviegoers aren’t likely to have a problem with such things. And then, of course, there are movie theaters where ushers actually ush, and will keep chatty patrons quiet or will kick out disruptive folks. (Imagine that.) So I don’t think what I’m saying here is so out of line.

I might be willing to pay extra for this screening (not much more than two or three dollars, though), and I would even extend my suggestion to a screening of movies for “more sophisticated” audiences — ones who don’t talk during the show, who don’t mind a formal check to make sure their cell phones are off, who show better manners and common courtesy for their fellow moviegoers, and who treat the movie as more than just a way to spend two hours. This kind of thing is common in L.A. and New York (some theaters even have reserved seating). Why can’t it be common in Boston and around the country?

Who’s with me?

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