Toddlers and movies

My son has never been to a movie theatre.

Of course, I’ve only been a couple times since his birth, the saggy cushions of my local theater beckon me even still, as I always hope for the luxurious front row of the second half where you can put your feet up and relax.

It’s been on my mind lately, taking my son to the movies.

Some of his friends have been, beckoned with a mad passion for all things cars to go see Cars 2.

I carefully read the reviews, remembered his easy startle at some loud noises and decided that the second installment was just too much for my little son at the time.

He got the DVD at Christmas and I was saved months of trying to remember names like ‘Holley Shiftwell‘ even tough that one is easy because, well, it’s so James Bond female lead-esque.

My James Bond-lovin’ brother would agree.  He always caught the movie marathons, while I always seemed to catch the same parts of the same movies and, well, I liked the passion to those who adore Dr. Who.

I bet you can tell by now I write long sentences when I’m tired and ramble. I was so determined to blog, so now it is past midnight and I am still up. Don’t worry, hubby was in bed early sick, so quality time was a no tonight, so i’m not sad and lonely.

So anyway.

I am not even sure what my first movie was.

I remember going to the Rainbow Theatre in town, a small two-screen spot in a downtown side street.

I saw the Care Bear movie there, and I think Land Before Time.

I linked that last one just in case you don’t know that movie. It’s a must.

The bathroom was downstairs, down a spiral staircase and only a couple stalls.

It was also a theatre where you could almost put your feet up on the wall rising up between the seats and the screen. I remember going for the first row, but whoever bought the tickets that day didn’t always enjoy that close seating.

My last movie there was The Little Mermaid, and I remember the Rainbow Theatre had aging blue carpet and tattered seats where children had bounced too much, securing the sea-blue memory I associate with the Disneyfied Hans Christian Andersen tale.

That was before someone saw a rat crawl across the front during a movie, before other theaters sprung up locally, before it closed and stood empty for over 25 years.

In its defense, the dirty secret of my area’s downtown is rats. It’s an older town. and that building has been a business and two restaurants.

Good margaritas, inflated pricing.

How old will my son be when I take him to a movie? He can sit and watch TV for hours if I let him, watches every minute of Cars although he takes a break during other films like Toy Story.

But movies are expensive, and I’d rather know what he is getting into before I’m trapped with a crying kid or one so excited I can’t keep him still.

I’m considering trying him at one of those weekend or during the day child-friendly showings, the kind where parents drop off their kids in the summer and everyone runs around crazy.

At least, that is what I assume considering my neighborhood.

I’ve also considered saving up for something special, for something that would be memorabe for him, that he would identify with, that he already knows.



He’s watched the movie a few times at home, although ends up taking a break for a few minute’s play with some clangy musical instrument toy before coming back to watch the turtles surf the ocean current.

But I figure, if he has already made it through the Disneyland ride twice, by the time September rolls around he may be ready.

If he’ll keep the 3-D glasses on.

If you have kids, what was the first movie they saw and how old?

What was YOUR first movie you remember?

13 thoughts on “Toddlers and movies

  1. Donna

    I love seeing movies in a theater, and began taking my daughter to see them when she was just two years old. Now that she’s a teenager and wouldn’t be caught dead going with me, I really miss those times — even the really bad kiddy flicks we often ended up seeing together. Take your son, and enjoy it while it lasts!

  2. Jeanne @JollyTomato

    I love seeing movies in a theater, too… I took my then-infant son to a few of those “Mom’s Morning Out” movies when he was tiny, but it took me a long time to get up the courage to take him to a real kids’ movie in the theater. I was paranoid that he’d either be the screaming kid or he’d be bored after 10 minutes and want to leave. I finally took him to see “Charlotte’s Web” when he was about 4, and he was bored at about the 1-hour mark, but then he discovered the snack bar, and decided that the movies were the best place in the world. Now he’s a real movie fan, and I love going with him whenever we get the chance.

  3. Ciaran Blumenfeld

    I honestly cannot remember my first movie! Wah! I do remember going to drive ins and seeing The Little Mermaid in Israel, dubbed in hebrew. My kids were not good in a movie theater till about 3. I took them as infants and nursed them or sat in the cry room, but by 4-5m that was all over I do love the kids movie series that several local theaters have. Low price, low expectations for behavior, low risk!

  4. Adrienne

    My local theater has a showing each week of kids movies with lower sound and dim lights for kids who are either reactionary to loud noises or unaccustomed to theaters. It is a great way to break them in. The Monday Morning Mommy and Me movies are always adult movies and the kids end up bored and usually obnoxious. Not worth it.

  5. natalie

    I don’t remember my first movie but I do know I found see grease I was too you, back to the future part 2 I saw a a drive in and stand bye me was my fits g 13. My son was 18 onths and un believabley sat though te chipmunks we were in shock he is a true movie lover

  6. Caryn B

    I don’t honestly remember my first movie. But I didn’t take my kids to a theater until they were able to sit through a film at home. There were those instances when I had to take my daughter as a baby because my son really wanted to see a film. I highly recommend those Mommy Movie Days offered by some of the local theaters because the lighting is dimmed (as opposed to off) and they allow crying, nursing, diaper changing, and everything in between : )

  7. Florinda

    I don’t recall my first movie in a theater–we didn’t go very often–but I do remember summer evenings at the drive-in seeing those stupid Disney live-action movies from the early 70s (which I’ve tried to forget).

    I think my son saw his first movie at the movies when he was three or four–a re-release of Peter Pan–but he didn’t especially enjoy it, and it may have been a little early. The first movie he really enjoyed in a theater was Home Alone, which came out when he was 6. Personally, I think it’s OK to wait till kids are a little older, and then be very selective about which movies you take them to see; that will also spare you a lot of kiddie crap :-).

  8. Desiree Eaglin

    The first movie my son saw in a theater was Kung Fu Panda. He was almost 3. The first movie I ever saw in a theater was that Sesame Street one where Big Bird was kidnapped and painted blue as a cover. I CRIED. SO MUCH. lol


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