Alex and the Avengers

May 23, 2012

One of Alex’s favorite movies is Captain America. I know it is a bit scary for most kids his age, but he loves watching Red Skull. After all, this is the kid who said, “I like scary dinosaurs” after his older cousin got scared watching “Journey to the Center of the Earth” and they had to turn it off. He’s not fearless, but pretty close anyway.

When we got “the Avengers” at the movie theater where I worked, I wanted to bring Alex. I did not want him there when things were really busy, however, so I planned out a family movie night midweek. Alex’s grandparents, Alex, Brian, and I all went to the theater for the early show.

Alas the stars were not aligned that night, and Alex did not want to hold still or be quiet. He lasted about 20 minutes into the movie, then just got too antsy. I tried buying him a treat to get him to sit still, but that only worked for a few minutes, so instead of watching most of the movie, I spent the time playing with Alex in the lobby. Everyone else loved the movie. I am sure Alex would have enjoyed it too, but he was full of energy and he is use to watching movies alone so he can run around and make whatever noise he likes.

Brian came and saw the movie again while I was working, but every time I thought I would get to see the movie, I ended up having to work or something else happened. I was starting to feel like I was cursed not ever see the movie.

I’ve been working at the theater a lot lately because “the Avengers” is very popular and a lot of people of all ages are coming to see it. Most of the kids love the movie, though there have been a few that have left in the middle. One day a dad had to leave with his son out because it was too scary for the kid. I gave the dad a couple passes so he could come again some other time. Another time a woman brought a group of school age girls (perhaps a birthday party), and they ended up leaving in the middle of the movie because, the woman said, they were being too loud. I might have offered them passes too, except one of the girls was spilling nerds candy (which she snuck into the theater) all over the floor as she walked out of the theater. Bad behavior does not make me feel generous.

Last night I was working the late show, so we made plans to go to the early show. This time if Alex did not sit through the movie, Brian would leave with him since Brian had already seen the movie twice. We were going to meet at the theater, but Brian forgot to move the car seat from the car he was driving, so I was stranded at the house until he got home. When Brian still had not gotten home at 5 pm (it was a 5:30 show), I was starting to feel like once again I was not going to get to go. Brian showed up soon after though and since I had seen the first 20 or so minutes already, being late wasn’t really an issue.

We got to the theater and sat in the back. There were just eleven people in the theater besides ourselves, so it was nearly empty. Perfect for bringing a little kid, or so I thought. Alex was being pretty good, and when he got a little antsy, Brian took him out for a moment. They bought Red Vines and Alex shared them with Brian and me.

Alas, my idea of Alex behaving himself did not coincide with one of the other audience members. The man walked back to where we were sitting and asked us to do something about Alex because “some of us are trying to watch the movie.”

My husband and I were tempted to say all sorts of nasty things, but since I work at the theater, we both kept our mouth shut. Brian took Alex home, and I stayed and finished the movie by myself. Unfortunately as much as I liked the movie, there was part of me that was angry about Alex having to miss it, that it really put a damper on the event. Alex will get another chance to see the movie, and he was not overly upset, but still…

It is so hard to take kids to the movie theater. Usually it is best to go when things were quiet, but I think if the theater had been packed, no one would have minded the little noise Alex was making. It seems that an empty theater you hear every noise, but in a full theater you filter the noises out, or you expect some audience noise.

“The Avengers” is rated PG13, but it is at the tamer end of the scale. In my opinion, it is an ideal movie to take the family to because it seems to appeal kids and adults of all ages (except perhaps the little ones who find it to scary). If people do not want to share the theater with children, perhaps they should come to the later show since very few kids are going to be out at that time. Of course, if a kid is being unruly, parents need to take care of it, but there is a line between what is reasonable and what is not. I tend to think that Alex’s noise level was reasonable and in a few minutes after he left when the movie’s action revved up, no one would have heard him. It seems to me the kid had as much right to see the movie as the adult he annoyed.

Going to the movies is probably not the best afternoon activity for Alex anyway. He is use to getting to run around and play with his parents when Brian gets home and I get finished on the computer. Alex would have probably preferred to go to a park or somewhere like Inflatable Kingdom, where he could run around and play.