June 24, 2009

Let's Go to the Movies

A few weeks ago I blogged about trying to figure out a good age to take children to their first movie. After much deliberation, Hubby and I decided to make yesterday our first official "family movie outing." We had two options: we could see Igor for free at a nearby Kerasotes owned theater or we could see Kung Fu Panda for $1 admission at a local AMC theater. Since I've never heard of Igor and didn't have time to research it, we opted for Kung Fu Panda.
Overall, we had a good time. The theater was surprisingly crowded, but when you think about it how much it would typically cost a family to go to the movies, it makes sense that a lot of parents were treating their kids to the $1 selection.
Tortilla was happy as long as she was holding someone's hand or sitting on a lap. Sue-Sue was entertained for the first half of the movie, but then wanted to go home. She settled down once I told her she needed to be quiet so the other kids could hear. Cakes wanted to walk around the whole time. She was more into watching the other movie-goers than watching the actual movie. Roo seemed to do the best. She changed seats a lot and had a few questions, but overall she stayed quiet and glued to the screen.
My daughters will be four in September. I think this was a good age to try our first movie. If they had been much younger I don't think they would have had the attention span necessary to sit through a movie.
My advice: try a free or discounted movie for your first few outings. If we had left at any point during the movie I wouldn't have felt like we wasted money. Six dollars for all six of us to see a movie is a bargain. Also, arrive at least 20 minutes early. The later you arrive, the harder it is to maneuver through the crowd and find a seat. Talk about your expectations ahead of time: we need to be quiet, whisper if you have a question, the lights will need to be turned off so we can see the movie, etc. You may also want to consider taking a snack with you. We seemed to be one of the only families who by-passed the line at the concession stand. I didn't take any snacks from home and my daughters didn't seem to mind, but for other children this could really be a deal breaker. Finally, don't be afraid to leave. I really wanted to get through the entire movie, but had my girls started acting up we would have left. I saw several families leave... some simply because their kids didn't have the attention span for the movie.
I don't think it's something we'll do on a regular basis this summer, but it was definitely a positive experience. I'm glad movie theaters offer these free or discounted films in the summer because there's no way all six of us could afford to see a "typical" movie.


Anonymous said...
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Quadmama said...

Sorry folks, you spam in my comments you get deleted.

Stephanie B said...

In my experience, from multiple much younger siblings and three children, it depends on the child. If you manage to find an age when all four of your children can manage a movie, damn, you're good.

Quadmama said...

I was surprised by how well all the children behaved. Since it was a kid-friendly movie there was a constant "hum" of little kids talking, but overall there weren't major issues with any of the hundreds of kids there. Impressive.

MaryAnne said...

I'm very impressed you were able to take four not-quite-four-year-olds to a full-length movie first try!

shydub said...

Ohh yeah thats a good deal i guess, just 6 bucks, and im sure even if they don't remember it when they grow up, what matter is they enjoy watching their first movie at the big screen. so, in my case i have to wait for 3 years before i can see movie at the theater again huhuhu lol.

Quadmama said...

MaryAnne... I fully expected to have to leave, but they seemed satisfied to look around at the other kids when they became bored.
Shydub, you could always find one of those "mom's night out movies" where everyone takes infants with them.

shydub said...

wow, quadmama bravo to you, your blog is PR3 now huh. im amazed and impressed.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tips and details of your experience. I will definitely keep them in mind when my girls are ready to check out the big screen. Glad it was a success :)

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