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Kim Voynar

By Kim Voynar

On Kids and Midnight Movies

There’s this sidebar discussion about the Aurora theater shootings that I’ve seen crop up a few times with people questioning why there were young kids, including a three-or-four-month-old infant, at a midnight screening. And they mostly tend to have this disapproving tone with regard to the babe-in-arms in particular, and I find that disturbing. Because really, how is the whole, “Why did these irresponsible parents have kids at a midnight screening anyhow?” thing different than a woman being raped and then being grilled on the witness stand by the perp’s defense attorney as to what exactly she expected if she was out late at night in a skirt that short?

As a mom of seven kids (five mine, two stepsons), I can say that I brought my kids to movies, even late-night movies, when they were that tiny. Why? Because a three-month-old baby could be expected to just sleep through it, in his mom’s arms or a baby sling, and if they woke up and made noise, I’d just put them on the boob to nurse back to sleep, or step out of the theater. I stopped bringing them at around seven months or so because it was less reliable that they’d sleep and not disturb other patrons. Really, not the big deal some folks are making it out to be, that these parents brought a baby to a late-night thing. Geez, my parents took me and my brother to the drive-in until 2AM all the time when we were growing up.

As for the 6YO, whatever. We took all of our kids, including our 8 and 9YOs, to the midnights of both The Avengers and Amazing Spider-Man. They took an evening nap beforehand so they wouldn’t be tired. Our kids are well-behaved, they didn’t bother anyone else, they were just there, like the other comic-geek patrons, to enjoy the fun of seeing superhero movies they were excited about at the midnight. We had a great family time, and it was exciting for them to get to be out late for a one-off special event. So long as they’re not bothering anyone else, it’s really no one’s business but ours. Now, if a theater wanted to have some designated adults-only midnight screenings, I certainly have no problem with that. But those families had as much a right to be there as anyone else.

Should the parents of the baby have had a babysitter? Not that it’s anyone’s business, but as a parent, I know that finding a babysitter for a midnight screening’s not so easy. I don’t know these parents, but I imagine that there are big enough comic geeks to want to be at the midnight screening of TDKR, right? So, you know, they had a baby 3-4 months ago. They’re adjusting to life as parents of a new baby. Probably haven’t had a real date night since the baby was born. And they wanted to celebrate their comic geekery by being at the midnight, of maybe being able to tell their comic geeky kid when he’s older, “Hey, your first movie was TDKR when you were just a baby!” Absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Just saying, as a parent, I find the whole “why did parents even have kids at a midnight screening?!” sidebar irritating as hell. As though that makes them bad parents, or as if they should have, you know, expected a crazy guy armed with an assault rifle to come in and start shooting because it was a midnight — or, for that matter, as if the same thing couldn’t have happened at a matinee. And it has a tinge of “blame the victim” that distracts from the actual important issues of gun control laws and our mental health care system that are what we should be discussing as a society.

32 Responses to “On Kids and Midnight Movies”

  1. Richfield says:

    Yed it is a. Big deal. The sound is too loud for their rars.

  2. bbmcrae says:

    Richfield – thanks for the laugh, pal. Hope your rars are burning.

  3. Allyson Wilson says:

    I took the time to read this to try and understand your point of view, but I still fail to see this “sidebar” issue as anything more than selfish parents unable to put their kids needs ahead of their own. As adults, we make the decisions about what time to go to the movies– not the kids. How often has it been said that “very little good happens outside of the house after midnight.” In fact I heard it being said just last month as a reminder to a group of graduating high school kids at a commencement ceremony. If adults want to watch a midnight movie, they are making a conscious decision to accept things that go along with being out late– increased likelihood of encountering a drunk driver, etc. Its not fair to put that on kids. You can watch a movie anytime. Any movie you caught at midnight was also playing just a short 12 hours later at noon. Now, don’t get me wrong– that gunman could have walked in that theater as easily at noon as he did at midnight, but I still think you open your kids up to the possibility of more risk when you have them out in the middle of the night. Its irresponsible and indicative of the growing impulsive and impatient nature of our society. You and your husband just *had* to see a film at the very first moment it became available at the theater. Your kids would have benefited more had you not disrupted their normal sleep habit. And they would have surely benefited from the lesson you would have taught them about waiting patiently until it makes sense to go do something.

  4. Kim Voynar says:

    Allyson, thanks for making my point so eloquently with your judgmental tone and armchair parenting. I wasn’t asking for permission or affirmation from you or anyone else that it’s fine for us to take our kids to midnight screenings of superhero flicks. I know it’s fine.

    But your labeling of parents taking kids to midnight screenings as “irresponsible,” your use of words like “selfish” is exactly what I’m talking about. You raise your kids with YOUR values. The way we choose to raise ours, whether their “normal sleep patterns” are disrupted for a night, is none of your business. When my kids are grown, they will look back and recall fondly our family nights going to midnight superhero movies, which for me, is far more important than their sleep pattern being disrupted for a night.

    It’s not a matter of putting my needs ahead of my kids (although I would argue based on the number of little dictator, whiny brats I encounter daily in Seattle that there are a lot of parents who could stand to put their own needs first more, and do their kids the great favor of teaching them that they are NOT the center of the known universe), it’s a matter of our comic geek family sharing something cool and fun TOGETHER.

    And frankly, your arguments are BS. My kids are also much more likely to get killed in a car accident if I drive them anywhere at all, than if I never put them in a car. They’re more likely to drown if I allow them to swim. They’re more likely to fall off a swing or a slide and break a bone if I allow them to climb and play. Jesus. This hoverparent attitude of precious over-protectiveness is creating more neurotic, mismanaged, overly dependent kids than any midnight movie ever could.

    In summary: My kids are just fine, thanks. Raise your own kids with your values. How you raise yours is none of my business, either.

  5. azmoviegoer says:

    Wow, that response was a little uncalled for imo Kim. One of your readers takes the time to read your article and give their opinion and that’s how you respond? Her arguments are BS? She has a judgmental tone? Armchair parenting? Defensive about your parenting choices much? I believe she was simply giving you another way to look at it. I totally agree with her opinion that parents who make those choices to take their kids to midnight movies are being a little selfish and putting their needs ahead of their kids. In fact, I think she made a lot of valid points, though it’s obvious from your response that you disagree. What about the parents who take their 5 year olds to showings of age-inappropriate movies like “Savages”- like the mother I saw at my screening on opening weekend? Is that ok? In a theatre that offered a babysitting service for the price of a movie ticket? Wait I forgot- I should stop caring about little kids being exposed to that kind of horrific violence at a tender age right? Of course, I didn’t say anything to her. She certainly has the right to raise her child with her values, as awful and misguided as there are.

    If you can’t handle someone disagreeing with your choices and expressing that opinion in a direct but polite way maybe you shouldn’t have an option for comments. You came across as more than a little thin-skinned when one of your readers simply had a perfectly valid perspective that was different from your own. She certainly didn’t deserve the heaping of verbal abuse that you unloaded on her in response.

  6. Voice of reason says:

    No, sorry, kids shouldn’t be out that late at a PG-13 action film. You will never convince me otherwise.

  7. Mike says:

    What a stupid idiot this author is. The perfect example of the current generation of psycho babble BS young adults raised to be their children’s friends. She doesn’t want to make the tough, common sense decisions on the proper raising of her children, and ignores the reasonable response of those who disagree with her and label it “judgmental”. There it goes again….oh, we can’t be judgmental against anybody, denying the fact that being judgmental is how people make important decisions everyday. I will be judgmental….i will decide on things everyday based on my judgment. I will decide that it’s absolutely dumb to take infants and young children to loud, violent films at ANY hour, even worse at midnight. Look, if you can’t find a babysitter or don’t want to pay for one you stay at home. That’s just the way it goes. You put your children’s needs ahead of yours. The children in Aurora should have been home in bed, and that’s it.

  8. rose says:

    it’s common sense sorry….I don’t even like going to theaters past midnight..that’s stuff you do when you’re young and single.. who’s out at that time? a bunch of twenty somethings, late teens, etc….and what do they all have in common? Rambunctious behavior, loud..possibly drunk and you want your kids around that? WTF? Sorry…I’m not a perfect parent either and I”ve made mistakes at the movies bringing my kid to a questionable movie one’s not about having well behaved’s who you surround them with.I let my kid watch the AVengers but it was also at 8:00 pm ..the latest.

  9. Terry says:

    I think we all had a movie experience partially ruined by a thoughtless, inconsiderate parent that used bad judgement and/or had a misguided entitlement attitude. Maybe one day Kim will grow up.

    Really what is the maturity level of someone who has to have bragging rights to say they saw a movie first? It’s the same damn movie whenever you see it.

    When a child acts up, it temporarily takes the people in the theater out of the movie. Even if it take thirty seconds or a minute for the parent to calm the kid down or decided to leave the theater, it is still frustrating for the other folks. Do you know how to avoid that? Don’t bring your kid to the movie. It’s pretty simple actually.

    Kim’s attitude is exactly the reason a lot of people I know feel like the theatrical experience has been ruined lately. bad, disrespectful audiences actually has someone of an impact on boxoffice. I don’t go to certain theaters because I from past experiences that there will be babies or little kids fussing and talking during movies. The best local theater has a policy of no kids under six are allowed into R rated movies after six. See, they get it.

  10. Terry Marie says:

    Since I read that there were children in the theater in Denver, I am one of those who has said, what on earth were they doing there? I am the mother of two girls, 7 and 8. And I am pretty much a live and let live type but, that being said this was not a midnight showing of “The Avengers” or “Harry Potter” or “Star Wars” or even the one my father took me to at a young age, “Amadeus”. The Dark Knight movies are incredibly dark, dismal and viciously violent. The sound effects are overwhelmingly loud and can not possible be good for little developing 3 month old ear drums. Why does any parent want their child exposed to that level of violence? I suppose it is not the midnight part that bothers me as much as the choice of film.

    But, honestly, if you can’t get a sitter to go the midnight opening of movie, don’t go! I am one of those parents that believes that in most things, you put the child first, not the need to see a movie opening night. Good grief, get a sitter and see a 9 pm showing! You will still enjoy the movie and you will be protecting your children.

  11. Ben says:

    I’m not sure if I was 8 or 9 when I first saw STAR WARS, which does portray the use of blasters and lightsabers, and Han Solo shooting Greedo under the table. But having seen THE DARK KNIGHT I would be horrified if someone told me that they had let a 5 or 6 year old child watch that movie on DVD. It is one of the most violent and disturbing movies I have ever seen, because of the level of sadistic violence perpetrated by The Joker. In fact it scares me that anyone younger than 13 would be allowed to see that movie in a theater.
    If we just say that parents should decide, then would it be OK for a parent to take a 5 year-old girl to see a movie that includes graphic rape scenes? I guess anyone who has a problem with that is probably a “judgmental” kind of person in your eyes.
    The fact is, the only explanation for why Veronica Moser was in the movie theater on Thursday night/Friday morning is because her mom was too selfish to put her kids’ actual needs before her own perceived “need” to see a violent movie at midnight.

  12. LYT says:

    Ben, the ratings system says that parents get to decide. Period.

  13. Rob says:

    Every parent says “our kids are well-behaved.” Trust me, as a mother of seven, your threshold for “not bothering anybody” is different from that of the childless people who probably went to a late-night showing in part to avoid kids.

  14. Susan Tang says:

    I think it’s the subject matter of the film that creeps people out when they hear children were present. Not the infants, but the 6 year old specifically. Had my infant not been colicky back-in-the-day I would have taken her to a midnight showing of a film like this one, but now that they’re 7 and 9? No way. Why?

  15. David Wolf says:

    The blogger is WAY too defensive (especially in the comments section) about poor parental choices she’s made (though I believe she makes a good point with respect to the infant). Yes, that’s right, I’m one of the judgmental types who believes that kids belong home in bed and not at a midnight screening of a violent, disturbing film. Nobody is saying you CAN’T raise your kids any way you wish, just as nobody is going to stop you from feeding them McDonald’s three times a day, seven days a week, but we’re entitled to bemoan an obvious lack of common sense and good judgment.

  16. Texas Mom says:

    In the city that I live which is in Texas….hint my screen name, a child that is under 13 is not allowed into the movie after 8:00 pm. And, that is with an adult. It makes sense and that is how it should be in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong because I love kids and I totally love movies, but there should be a certain time when kids should stay at home when they are under age…even if the parent(s) want to go to a late night movie.

    I bring my kids to the movie during the day when there are not a lot of adults there. Then they can enjoy the movie, laugh really loud at the funny parts and not get the occasional stare from the adult who is there during the day to escape reality. Since I am a big fan of films and I do mean big, I know that my children comes first before a midnight showing. I can wait until the next morning to see it or when I have a babysitter. Even if I am a huge fan of a certain movie or actor…..I can wait.

    Now, that is just my opinion and I don’t judge anyone who brings there kids to a movie because everyone is completely different when it comes to parenting. But, since this horrible incident I think that more policies will be changed at the movie theatres and it will be more than showing up dresses as your favorite character. I think more parents will now reconsider bringing their kids to midnight showing now on. It is completely different from when my mom took us to the drive-in where we were in our own car, could sleep in the backseat or play around in the car without bothering others.

  17. butters says:

    cant second enough the person that points out that your children are never as well behaved as you think they are, and inflicting parenting business on a theatre full of people who paid to transported by a film and not be included in your family process, is rude and inconsiderate.

  18. Troy says:

    As a former theatre manager, people would be APPALLED by what movies parents would bring their children to: horror movies, sadistic violence movies, films filled w/ bad language, etc.

    I agree with others that it’s not as much the time period that they come to (although the idea of taking kids to movies after 8 is crazy to me) – I can understand the desire to create an “experience” with them – but it’s the choice of the movie that you’re taking them to just because that movie is popular.

    I don’t feel like I’m a prude (I’m far from Ned Flanders and my kids are NOT Rod and Todd), but I will say this: it’s YOUR kids that are the “bad examples” for MY kids. It’s YOUR kids that introduce bad language to MY kids at school – thanks for that. And if you want to stand up and own that and write a column on it full of pride, then…well, go for it, I guess.

  19. Aimee says:

    So Kim, would you take your kids to a bar in the late afternoon, early evening? Because here in Brooklyn, parents do that all the time. Do they think their kids are well behaved? Of course they do, but that doesn’t mean us child-free folks don’t get annoyed when we’re exposed to your “well-behaved” 7-year-old at a place where it should be “adults only.”

    And my parents took me to plenty of mature movies when I was really young — Rain Man, Born on the Fourth of July, Presumed Innocent — but they didn’t take me at midnight to something as dark and sadistic as The Dark Knight. Geez, I don’t even go to midnight showings anymore because I fall asleep.

  20. Don R. Lewis says:

    My wife and I recently saw TED and there was a dad with a 4 year old girl and a 6 year old boy in the theater with us. In fact, they were in line ahead of us and the theater ticket guy asked him TWICE if he realized this wasn’t a kids movie and that it was rated “R.” He said he was cool with it. Total dick move. Not only for the kids having to see that but what about when those kids go to school and tell their friends they saw an R rated movie?

    It creates uncomfortableness for teachers and other parents to explain what Billy and Suzy get to see inappropriate things but your kid cannot. Kids BRAG about defying the rules. Let’s not even talk about what these kids share about these movies with other kids.

    While I agree with Kim that a really little baby will likely sleep through the movie and a simple shot of milk will put them out, I’ve also been in countless, COUNTLESS screenings with babbling babies and one’s who flat out cry. It’s incredibly rude of parents to do that. And Kim- I KNOW you’re not a rude person and would have more respect for people than that. But yu’re an exception, not a rule.

    I don’t think kids need to be in “adult” movies and it’s also always smacked me a little bit of irresponsibility or seflishness. “I want to go to the movies right now, I can’t find a sitter, you’re coming with me.” It’s loud in there, typically violent onscreen and other people want to relax and enjoy the movie they paid for, not to worry about your kid half the time.

  21. Raiseyourkidright says:

    Bad Parenting 101.

    When your kid is older and has weird issues, you can look back and laugh and say “Maybe it was the midnight screenings of sadistic violent movies!” Herp Derp!

  22. Kim Voynar says:

    This is exactly the kind of armchair parenting I’m talking about. I’m not pointing fingers at parents who choose never to take their kids to a midnight event and saying, you’re such a bad parent for choosing not to take your kids to a midnight. Just offering a perspective one why we’ve chosen to take our kids to a few. I just found it pretty shocking that anyone would take a horrible situation like the Aurora shooting and turn in into an opportunity to attack the parents for being there.

    Having written a lot for parenting sites in the past, I really don’t see this discussion as being any different than the endless attacking debates on those parenting sites over breast vs bottle, cloth diapers vs disposable, attachment parenting vs cry-it-out, spanking vs not. It’s about the need of parents to feel they are “okay” by defining others as “not okay.” The divisiveness and finger-pointing, the quickness with which people latched on to blaming the parents for being there to begin with, as if these kinds of things don’t happen in any number of other places kids are — schools, churches, malls, whatever. The Aurora shooting is not about the parents, it’s about the shooter.

    As for the content of this particular movie, I personally would not take my youngers to see a Nolan film at all, they’ve not seen any of his Batman films, partly because of the violence, which for me goes beyond what I consider all ages “comic book” violence, and partly because they’re just too dense and intellectual for them to get much out of them until they’re older. My personal call as a parent on that, but so long as TDKR is rated PG-13 and not R, well, that ratings system says parents can make that choice, so it’s really not my place to tell anyone they can’t make that choice as a parent.

    And lastly, as I said, I would be all in favor of theaters offering “18+ only” midnight screenings. Like everyone else, there are times when I like to get out without my kids or anyone else’s disrupting my good time. But again, that wasn’t the case here. This wasn’t an adults-only screening, it’s a PG-13 film. And it’s really not anyone’s business why those parents chose to be there with their kids.

    This whole sidebar on why kids were there detracts from the bigger issues we should be discussing, like, say, how easy it was for this guy to accumulate the weaponry and ammunition he used to shoot 50+ people in short order, and IF he was mentally ill, how that might have been prevented if our mental health system wasn’t so screwed up.

  23. Kim Voynar says:

    Don Lewis wrote: I’ve also been in countless, COUNTLESS screenings with babbling babies and one’s who flat out cry. It’s incredibly rude of parents to do that. And Kim- I KNOW you’re not a rude person and would have more respect for people than that. But yu’re an exception, not a rule.

    Don, I completely agree with you on that, and we deal with that issue of crying/loud kids and parents who won’t just step out with them at the youth theater all the time. Drives me crazy. But this is really about the issue of rudeness and courtesy generally, is it not? If you bring your kid to a movie — ANY movie, other than the matinee screenings intended for moms and tots — and your kid is at all disruptive to other people, you should step out with them until they’re in control or just leave. That’s basic courtesy, which has nothing to do with whether kids generally should be there or not.

    Generally speaking, I personally draw a line as to when other people’s parenting choices are my business around whether it directly impacts me or not. If we go out to a restaurant, I don’t care if there are kids there so long as they are capable of sitting at the table and not screeching, running around, flinging food, and generally disturbing everyone else. If they aren’t capable of that, feed them at home until they can eat out without bugging other people, or go to family friendly restaurants.

    Likewise, if your kid can be at a movie screening and not disrupt or disturb me any more than the chattering teens or the group of 20-somethings who whisper to each other and text throughout the film, do as you will.

  24. Kim, I love you, but I have to disagree with you on this one. If only all parents who took infants to movies at any time of the day were as conscientious as you to leave the theater if they couldn’t quiet them down, but sadly that is not the case. Hell, we can’t get the adults to shut up or put away their cell phones. As for a midnight movie, my guess is these were young parents too hyped to see the movie right away who either couldn’t afford a sitter or didn’t want to get one. I once attended a 10 a.m. screening for Kill Bill Vol. 1. I assumed it would be a critics’ screening as most 10 a.m. screenings are, but the ad agency for some reason had sent out passes to fill the theater and someone had brought a 4-year-old who couldn’t sit still or shut up through the entire film. What was that parent thinking? Was the child expected to appreciate Tarantino’s dialogue? Follow the nonlinear structure? At one point, I finally yelled, “Shut him up!” The theater applauded and only then was the parent shamed into removing the lad from the theater. I’m not a parent, but I think if I were I would expect that my life would change, especially in the early years. It’s like those folks who have to keep those cell phones on at movies or live theater. If your life is so important that you can’t be out of touch for a couple of hours, you shouldn’t be going in the first place.

  25. Michael says:

    Completely aside from the shooting issue, this is another example of parents not realizing that being parents means you give up things in order to 1) put your kids first, and 2) let some adult places remain adult places. This happens in restaurants all the time, not McDonald’s, but adult pub-type restaurants when parents bring kids way too young to behave, and make no effort to make them behave. Kim, you want to live in a utopia where all kids behave and all parents are responsive to what’s going on around them. But it tends not to happen that way. Parents, have your family time at home, in front of the big-screen, for movies rated PG-13 and above.

  26. Kallie says:

    Movie theaters are not inherently unsafe places and no one believes that those parents who brought their parents to the midnight screening of Batman could ever have anticipated what happened. I also agree with you that it is cruel to outright criticize those parents who lost their children in the shooting at a time like this. I do think it is valid however, to reasonably and respectfully discuss and question whether or not it is in the best interest of young children to be taken to an ultra-violent film like TDKR, regardless of the time of day.

    A 3 month infant may not be able to comprehend what’s happening on the screen, but the sound level in an action film like that in a closed space for almost 3 hours cannot be good for a baby’s developing ears. A 3 month old baby is also not fully vaccinated and movie theaters (like all other places where large numbers of people are constantly moving gathering in close proximity to each other) are great places for exposing them to germs.
    As for a 4 or 6 year old, I just can’t possibly think of any positive benefit they can get from watching people be blown up, shot, or killed in a vicious way. Either they’re going to be traumatized by it or worse (IMHO) they’re going to be desensitized by it. This last point is particularly germane to discussions about the Aurora shooting since the shooter was dressed up like the films violent villain when he committed the crimes. What really is the impact of early childhood exposure to violent media?

    Kim, I’m sure that you’re a loving mother and I understand and respect the emphasis you place on not judging other peoples parenting choices/values. There are times though, when the parental choices of others are obviously putting the welfare of their children in jeopardy. For example, I saw a father talking on his cell phone while walking down the very busy blvd. I live on with his 3 year old daughter following at least a foot behind him; he was not holding her hand, he was not even glancing back to see where she was. She could have darted out into the middle of traffic and been hit, or any random stranger could have walked by, grabbed her and taken off with her. Should I not point out to this parent that his parenting style is endangering his child because that would be judgmental?

  27. Mike says:

    Kim writes:

    “but so long as TDKR is rated PG-13 and not R, well, that ratings system says parents can make that choice, so it’s really not my place to tell anyone they can’t make that choice as a parent.”

    Here Kim places her trust in a faulty ratings system. Rather than parents using their own judgment, Kim uses the ratings system as an excuse for parents to avoid making decisions. And for Kim herself, she uses it as an excuse for not judging others….something she doesn’t like to do…. “Well, I guess if the film is PG-13 then it’s OK.” Again, here is the avoidance of personal responsibility. There are too many people in America who place trust in government and other institutions rather than relying on themselves, and therefore blaming others when their lives go bad. Personal responsibility is a choice….you either take it or you leave it at the curb. Unfortunately for us, many Americans choose to leave it. Sorry Kim, relying on the ratings system doesn’t wash….

    Kim writes again….

    “This wasn’t an adults only screening, it’s a PG-13 film”…. again, relying on the movie theater to provide the restrictions rather than deciding for yourself what are your own personal restrictions. You see Kim, there are many Americans who choose not to make make personal choices for themselves. These are the government and institution dependent wastes that we see everyday in America. These are the people who feel it is their God given right to suck from the government, waste our resources, refuse to work, and live like a King while doing it. These are the ones who don’t want to take the consequences of their own decisions. They don’t care about the harm they do others or the harm they do to their country. As long as everything goes OK for me to he– with everybody else. But, perhaps I’m being too harsh. There I go being judgmental again. I know you don’t like that.

  28. Alex Jackson says:

    The popular arguments against bringing young children, especially infants, to a midnight screening of THE DARK KNIGHT RISES:

    1. Nothing good happens after midnight- I remain skeptical that there really are more car accidents during and soon after the witching hour. Note my dripping sarcasm, this argument strikes me as sort of magical thinking. While there may be more drunk drivers on the streets and while drivers may struggle with fatigue so late at night there are also CONSIDERABLY fewer cars on the road. Most of the cineplexes in which these screenings take place already have some security, particularly when there is a big event screening such as this one. Additionally, most of these theaters don’t serve alcoholic beverages and will kick you out if you smuggle one in. Of all the institutions that remain open at midnight, movie theaters are certainly among the safest.

    2. The loud noise of the theater will hurt the infant’s ears- Googled “Can you take an infant to a movie theater” and overwhelmingly the answer was “sure why not”. Movies are loud, but they aren’t THAT loud. Infants will often sleep through the movie having dealt with a lot of comparable noise while in the womb. I honestly cannot conceptualize a child suffering signficant hearing loss because its parents took it to a movie when it was a baby. Is there an epidemic of children losing their hearing due to being taken to movies that I’m not aware of? Has there been any actual research on this phenomenon?

    3. Infants will be exposed to infectious diseases when placed in enclosed spaces where large numbers of people congregate- on the surface this seems to be a reasonable argument until you mull it over for all but two minutes and realize that there are lots of enclosed spaces where large numbers of people congregate and it’s not reasonable to say that movies theaters are somehow special or worse than all the others. I can’t imagine people would be outraged about people taking four month olds to church even though this argument is equally applicable. Additionally, a weak immune system will never get any stronger if it’s not exposed to germs. A recent Straight Dope column even argued that allergies are created in childhood and adulthood due to overprotectiveness from pathogens in infancy.

    4. Children should not be allowed into late movies because they disrupt the experience for other adults- Unlike the first three, I feel this is too much of a gross generalization to warrant consideration as a categorical rule. Some children are well-behaved. Some are not. Some parents will deal with their loud children appropriately. Some will not. The balance between minimizing social harm and infringing on the liberty of others leans too far toward the latter for my taste.

    5. Children shouldn’t be exposed to this kind of material- This is the only argument that I think has any teeth. Look, I reject the notion that culture and media is the principle influence on human behavior. I feel that intrapersonal (biological, psychological, spiritual) and more immediate social factors play a much more significant role. The problem with showing R or hard PG-13 films to young children is that they can produce emotional and psychological effects that children may not be fully equipped to handle. But again, there is something to that idea of not exposing children to pathogens will leave them with a weak immune system. A film like THE DARK KNIGHT RISES may very well give a six year old nightmares, but nightmares are part of being a kid and the important thing is how their parents react to their child having nightmares, not that the child has had nightmares. Showing these kind of movies to a child can be a sign of a neglectful or overly permissive parent, but it does not IN ITSELF signify a neglectful or overly permissive parent. Like my number four, this should only be a rule for bad parents. It shouldn’t be a rule for good parents who know their kids, will talk to them about what they see, and raise them with values that counteract those that may be embodied by these movies.

  29. Michigan Ma says:

    I had no idea people took little infants to movie theaters at night before I read about this tragedy. I was seriously beside myself to hear a three month old was out in the middle of the night at a movie. I don’t care if it’s Bambi or Batman, I just don’t think a three month old should be in a movie theater. The grocery store? Sure. The park, of course. The mall, I guess. But a movie theater? Yeah my infant slept alot but he cried like they all do. Why put anyone through that – the infant, yourself or the other folks trying to watch a movie? Of course I’m a 40+ year old stay at home mom so I probably sound old fashioned to you whippersnappers. My son is 3 years old. He has never been in a movie theater (or on a plane!). We have these amazing things called TVs and DVD players where I live. Every parent knows how important it is to have patience, surely these folks can wait until a must-see movie comes out on DVD. Life is suppose to change when you have a kid. I thought midnight movies were for your Rocky Horror years during college.

  30. Aaron says:


    I respect your opinion here but highly disagree with it. Sure, we shouldn’t judge how another person raises their children. But it becomes our business when that parent brings said child into a public theater for a movie that’s inappropriate for their age at a time when they would probably benefit more in getting sleep.

    But hey, what do I know?

  31. Alex says:

    Kim, what you did was the combination of bad parenting and irresponsible to both your children and other movie goers. A crying baby in a movie is more annoying than people next to you talking loud on their cell phone.

    As for the movie itself, for people saying “PG” means for parents to decide, true, but it’s a bad decision to bring young kids to see it. Parents are also in charge of what their kids should eat. No law says parents can’t feed kids junk food and soda everyday but is it a good thing to do? It’s also “no one’s business” if the parents loves to feed kids junk food….

  32. Michelle says:

    Kim you are a real bitch and other people have opinions also–like keep your children home from mIdnight movies. Not everyone wants to see your fucking brats as people are going sometimes to have break from their own kids you ignorant shit

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“There are different signs that this is not stopping. I don’t think that anger and frustration and those feelings can go away. I hope they don’t. The attention and support for the victims needs to be continued, more than people worried about these abusers and what’s next for them, how are they going to move on — shut up. You know what? If any of these people come back, I would say, “I can’t wait to see who is actually going to support them.” That is going to be the glaring horror. Who is going to be, like, “This is a pressing issue, and we need to get them back?” If a janitor was so great at cleaning the building but also tended to masturbate in front of people, would the people at that building be like, “Yes, he masturbated, but I’ve never seen anyone clean so thoroughly, and I was just wondering when he’s going to get his job back, he’s so good at it.” No, it would be, “That’s not acceptable.” It’s fame and power that people are blinded by.”
~ Tig Notaro in the New York Times

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