Monday, June 30, 2003

Reel good ideas

Well now, here's an idea we can get behind: Movie theaters where noisy kids are welcomed -- specifically invited, even. Sadly for those of us with noisy kids beyond infant stage, the invitation in question is for babies and their moms: "Reel Mom" showings at certain Loew's theaters are designed for the nursing set, with stroller check-ins, lights dimmed but not dark, sound turned down low enough so it won't wake the babies but still loud enough to be heard over babies who are making their wakefulness known. The idea seems to be that no one will care if your kid's making a racket because all their kids will be making rackets, too, although I'll bet if the mom next to you gets her wee one asleep she won't be too wild about yours screaming away. Nonetheless, the thought of getting away to watch a hit film -- the latest "Charlie's Angels" is now showing, though I'm not sure a movie with that much TNT and T&A is appropriate for children of any age, mom-friendly auditorium or no -- amongst folks who will understand what you're dealing with is an awfully appealing concept. Just two suggestions I'd like to offer: 1) Do the same thing on weekends for a "Reel Dad" showing, with mom getting to slip off next door to a chick flick all by her blissful self; and 2) Expand the concept for "Reel Handful" showings at which parents are permitted to bring their hyperactive, impulsive, easily distracted older children. Better still, just lock the kids in the theater and have cots in the hallway so the parents can have a nap.

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