I went to my first Reel Moms movie today, Marie Antoinette at the Metreon, only to find out as I was purchasing my ticket that it would be my last. Appparently, AMC is discontinuing the parent-friendly movie series because of "low turnout." This surprised and disappointed me, especially since the movie theater was pretty crowded for an 11 am Tuesday matinee (remember, I learned on my maternity leave just how popular Tuesday matinees are). There were probably about 25-30 adults, at least.
I guess I have to wonder what AMC accomplishes by killing the program. As far as I could tell, the only added overhead was an usher checking strollers, while I, for one, was definitely paying money I wouldn't normally be paying AMC just to have a family-friendly experience seeing a first-run film in the theater. Meanwhile, the rest of the 14-screen movie house seemed damn near deserted. [cue cricket sounds] Guess I'll have to keep that money, AMC! Your loss!
What surprised me most about my first movie-going experience with a baby was just how little the infants detracted from my enjoyment of the film. Sure, there were a few moments here and there where a line or two of dialogue was slightly obscured by a crying baby. But what about a normal movie audience? You know, the annoying lady who carries on a running commentary alongside the on-screen dialogue, the inconsiderate guy who slowly unwraps crinkly candy wrappers at the height of a tense and quiet scene, or the teenager who kicks the back of your chair throughout the whole film... At least a little baby doesn't know any better, and these infants were way better behaved than your average grownup moviegoer. (By and large, they mostly slept through the flick...without snoring!)
I say BOO to AMC, and that's not a Halloween Boo!
As for Marie Antoinette, I enjoyed it--great soundtrack, luscious costumes, and beautiful scenery of Versailles. Not an outstanding movie--in fact it was kinda slow in lots of parts--but since I could bring along my baby guilt-free, it was worth my $8. (Which is not something I can say for most movies I see in the theater these days!)