Breaking News: People who don’t personally see a need for something declare it to be terrible abomination! Conveniently forget that no one will force them to utilize this service they don’t need and that families with neurodivergent kids exist.

Reasons this is a great idea for some families:

*Families with multiple children, of varying ages and stages, some of which aren’t ready to sit through a whole movie. Now parents don’t have to choose between not taking older siblings to the theatre at all or scheduling and paying for childcare and leaving behind a member of the family.<—This is particularly relevant to low-income families. The extra $3 per ticket it still less expensive than a babysitter.

*Families with children who are having trouble adjusting to the movie experience but who will never be able to get accustomed to it without actually attending movies.

*Families which may have children who are neurodivergent or have sensory processing issues that preclude sitting still through an entire movie. Now parents don’t have to choose between staying home all the time or trying to have fun in a world that is all too often ableist and unaccommodating.

Seriously, this isn’t going to be every auditorium in every theatre everywhere. If you don’t want to utilize it nobody is fucking forcing you too. What you do at this point is go “nope, not for me and my family” and move the fuck on. What you DON’T do is write gems like this:

There comes a point where you have to make so many accommodations to children out of the house that you never should have left it to begin with, and this is one such instance.

Do you have any idea how often families with disabled or neurodivergent kids stay home and miss out on enjoying the world because we live in a society that doesn’t embrace universal design and accomodation?

Also, thank you for throwing stay-at-home parents under the bus. Sure, ok. Children (who can’t be expected to behave like tiny adults all the time) are a part of humanity. But apparently they don’t deserve to access public life so neither should their parent, right? It’s the same fucked up logic people use to argue against breastfeeding in public and I AM NOT HAVING IT.

Furthermore, the whole reason to take the kid to a movie is so that they watch the fucking movie. They don’t need to be entertained when there’s already entertainment right there on the screen to enjoy. They can sit and they can watch and they can take in a story for 90 minutes. And if they can’t do that, then they can stay home.

No. The whole reason to take kids to the movies VARIES from family to family. Did you know, for example, that sometimes PARENTS want to watch the fucking movie? It’s true! I wanted to see Moana at least as much as either of my kids. I would have loved to go as a family with both my children and with my partner. But I couldn’t. Know why? Because my youngest has some sensory processing issues and can get overwhelmed at the movies. It’s unpredictable. Sometimes he can’t handle it. Sometimes he can. And you know what happens if he can’t? None of us get to enjoy the movie after all. And we’re a low income family. We only see a movie in the theatre a few times a year. We can’t afford to just try again the next weekend. And we can’t afford a babysitter on top of movie tickets. A babysitter, in my area, will run at least $10 an hour, multiply that by 2-2.5 hours (movie + travel time) and it’s a whole hell of a lot more than a kid’s ticket. However, if there was a local theatre offering one of these climbing areas for an extra $3 (x4) that’s only barely more than ONE hour of babysitting.

So know who saw Moana at the theatre? Me and my daughter. I would find a way to afford the extra $12 if it meant we had a chance of actually going to the movies all together without risking having to leave partway through.

You gotta teach kids how to be bored. If you’re at a movie and the kid doesn’t like it, then they can stare at their hands for an hour,

Oh, screw you.

Seriously.

Let’s see YOU sit still and stare at your hands for a fucking hour. We live in a society that never ever expects adults to be bored for more than fifteen minutes at a time. Magazines in waiting rooms, TVs in restaurants, smartphones EVERYWHERE. So, aside from the fact that this isn’t just about kids being “bored,” it’s complete hypocrisy.

Learning to be bored is a crucial life skill, and you won’t acquire it if everywhere you go has a goddamn Ferris Wheel on the side.

No shit, Sherlock.

You want to teach kids how to be bored, teach them in the settings where they actually have to face boredom (doctor’s office, grocery store line, etc.). But a family outing is SUPPOSED TO BE FUN. You can’t fucking fault a movie theatre for trying to make sure it’ll be fun for everyone.

And another thing…you know what it looks like when someone knows how to be bored? It looks like these movie jungle gyms. Coping with boredom is not about exerting enormous amounts of will to silently suffer. Coping with boredom means utilizing tools and methods available to you. Coping with boredom doesn’t mean asking a small human to sit still and silent like a little robot you can turn off when they become inconvenient, it means working with their limitations and needs so everyone can have a good time.

Coping with boredom means playing i-spy in the line at the grocery store, or bringing a favorite stuffy for a long car ride, or, dog forbid, CHOOSING to utilize a movie theatre that has set up a safe environment for children to get out their wiggles so the rest of the family (parents and older siblings) can try to enjoy the ENTIRE movie. Teaching children how to be bored means teaching them how to entertain themselves, not teaching them how to just perfectly still while the rest of their family is entertained.

And that’s the key word here, CHOOSING.

If you don’t CHOOSE to go to a theatre like this, more power to you. If it doesn’t meet any needs YOUR family has, that does NOT mean it isn’t a dog-send for OTHER families.

One final thing:

I know that if I’m at home with the kids for too long, I HAVE to get them out of the house before I go insane. But this is not the answer. I can just run them around the mall instead and save $39.

Dude concedes right here that never going out can be torture for parents. Then goes on to posit that the solution is lettering his kids run around the mall…

Because heaven forbid kids play on a designated play place at a movie theatre but sure, let them run wild through a shopping center that is NOT a designated play area?

I think the real issue is that he thinks $3 per ticket is just TOO much for something he can’t see a need for and that he thinks it might be less fun for him.

Well, let me lay this out for you one more time.

I have a debilitating chronic illness. Wandering around the mall for funsies is NOT an option for our family (unless I want to spend a week recovering). Even sitting upright in a movie theatre can tire me out (which is why I ADORE the theatres with reclining seats - makes my dysautonomia very happy).

My illness also makes it difficult to utilize typical, outdoor playgrounds (where I live, most of the year, it’s either too snowy and frigid for the kids or too hot for me without triggering health-related issues). So I try to focus on indoor play areas. The free mall play areas around here have strict height limits which my daughter has already outgrown. Fast food play areas aren’t as common as you’d expect and require we buy unhealthy fast food to access them. And dedicated indoor play areas cost about the same as going to the movies only there’s nothing there for parents to enjoy.

I would LOVE being able to take all my children to a movie without having to worry we’ll have to leave halfway.

I have a very active child with sensory processing issues that would LOVE a movie jungle gym for when he gets overwhelmed by the movie, and just to play and have fun while waiting for the movie to begin…because, again, family outings are supposed so be FUN, not lessons in boredom tolerance. My kids get plenty of education in boredom tolerance accompanying me to too many of my medical appts. or all the times we stay home because of my health or because of financial limitations.

So, seriously, fuck everybody pontificating on how awful this is and how awful kids are these days and whining about how much THEY’D hate this. Nobody is fucking forcing you to go to a theatre like this. If you don’t think this is useful than, NEWS FLASH, it ISN’T MEANT FOR YOU. Go to one of the millions of other movie theatres available to you that are designed for an enjoyable experience for ADULTS instead of an enjoyable experience for families with differing needs.