To the CEO of Malco Theaters: Today, Saturday, April 12, 2014, my husband and I went to the Olive Branch, Mississippi theater to see Rio 2. We were there 20 minutes early so we could find a seat that would be comfortable for my husband as he just had surgery on his leg. Shortly before the movie started, a family sat down behind us. The theater was far from full, they could have sat anywhere else. However, as soon as they sat down, the boy started talking in a normal loud tone of voice as the preview for other movies came on.
I turned at looked at him and his mother got snippy and said, “I know you weren’t look at my child like that.” I said, “I was. I just wanted to know if you taught him to be quiet during the movie yet.” She stormed out and went to the manager. A woman with short blond hair, and I suppose her assistant manager, came into the theater just as the movie started. The woman said to me, as I once more looked back at her son who was still talking loudly, that the manager was watching me. So I went to the manager and told her that the kid was being loud and I simply wanted to be able to hear the movie. But, that the mother wouldn’t make him be quiet. She asked me to step out into the hall, so I did, knowing I would miss part of the movie.
When I explained to her what was going on, she said, “It is a child’s movie and children can be expected to talk and make noise.” I nearly went incandescent with shock! Since when is it ACCEPTABLE for other people to be rude and disrespectful in a theater by talking? Then the manager told me that we should move our seats, or we should go to a later movie when children wouldn’t be there. WHAT?! I did NOTHING wrong, I was there LONG before that obnoxious family, and my husband needed to sit in a place where he could stretch his leg out in front of him. The rest of the front row was full. Why should WE have to move because someone else was obnoxious?
The manager said straight out that she couldn’t do anything about the family, because SHE didn’t hear the kid talking. Of course not she was over by the entry, we were half way across the theater from the door. But, her attitude was that we were the problem and we had to leave or move. We left. My husband got a special pass to see the movie later, but hell will freeze over before I go back to that theater. I expect, at the very least, an abject apology from the manager, and from you, Mr. or Ms. CEO. I also think you need to train your managers to understand that NO ONE has the right to be rude and disrespectful to other patrons by talking out loud in the movie.All that child learned today was that his helicopter mother, and ineffectual father, will make sure he can do whatever he wants, no matter how badly behaved he is.
And I learned something too, older people are treated like criminals because we KNOW good manners when we see them and proper theater etiquette. How can anyone say it is EXPECTED for children to talk throughout a move? Since when has that sort of behaviour become acceptable to people who supposedly run theaters for the entertainment of all races, ages, and people? Obviously, those of us who expect manners and to be treated with respect when we have done NOTHING wrong are not equal to the rest of the people who are inept at parenting. Oh, yes, the manager made it clear she wasn’t there to parent other people’s children. But, I bet if I had been talking out loud, or chatting on my phone, that I would have been told off by the manager. Double standards really annoy me.
I expect an apology from YOU, Mr. or Ms. CEO, and I will expect to hear from that manager as well. If not, well, the internet is a great tool for making my thoughts known to many, many people in a very short time. After all, other seniors should know that we aren’t treated equally to other patrons. The manager said I had an attitude, but the mother didn’t. Well, I was being insulted by the manager and the ignorant mother was being proactive and accusing me of being. . . you know, I have NO idea what her accusation was. I just know, I was the one who had to be “punished” while that little prince was allowed to be as annoying as he wanted to be. I honestly wonder if that mother and the manager aren’t friends outside the theater.