Sunday, August 9, 2015

On My Mind: A Theater Full of Kids (+Links)

I think I've mentioned this before, but during the summer months I work at a summer camp. Every week for seven weeks, we take the kids on two field trips. One of those trips is to the movies. A couple of the local theaters do a summer movie program where, once or twice a week, they only charge a dollar to see kiddie flicks from a year or two ago. Once during the summer, the powers that be spring for a new release. This is how I got to see Minions. It also brings me to this post.

Our camp is a large camp. We're actually three smaller camps, operating at three separate sites, but we come together as one on field trip days. This means that roughly 150 kids, ranging in age from five to eight, plus another 20 or so staff take over a movie theater once a week. That many children together leads to some interesting experiences. Judging by the volume of the laughter, every joke is like the funniest thing that ever happened. When songs they know start playing, it's an all-out sing-along complete with hand-clapping and foot stomping. There's lots of talking. By talking, I mean random conversations I can deal with all that. No problem. After all, I get paid to sit there and watch a movie. Mostly. I do have to do some work during this time, though. I have to constantly escort kids to the bathroom. I don't mean one. I mean five or six at a time. Two or three times during the show is about normal. My favorite is when I return one group back to their seats only to find another group needing to go. Even this is manageable for a movie blogger. I generally don't miss that much of the movie. Usually. From time to time, I will get stuck standing in the lobby waiting for one of our young scholars who just couldn't wait any longer and just has to take a lengthy number two, right now. I'm talking the kind where I have to yell "Hey, buddy, you okay in there?" I want badly to follow that up with, "Well, hurry the hell up!" But I can't. They're kids. So I wait as the movie marches toward the closing credits. Damn.

For one of these cinematic outings, I only made one trip to the bathroom with a group of only three. That means, I got to see nearly all of the movie. Never mind that it was a movie I'd already seen, How to Train Your Dragon 2, but I got to see it in relative peace. At least in the sense that I was actually in the theater for most of the runtime. In another way, I got no peace at all. I was seated next to that kid. The kid who wants to talk constantly. To me. About everything.

"Mr. Dell, I saw this already. This is really good. Toothless is my favorite. Mr. Dell, did you know that when my dad took me to see this, he got me Skittles AND popcorn? He only buyed one big soda and we shared it, my brother and my sister and me. He buyed another one for him and mommy. Ooh, Mr. Dell, I know what happens next. That's his mother. Mr. Dell, do you have kids? My uncle ___ has two kids. Me, and my brother, and my sister are goin' to their house on Friday. What day is it? Last Saturday we played Laser Tag and 'I WON!' Mr. Dell, those two dragons are gonna fight each other..."

And on and on and on.

I barely escaped this movie with my life. More importantly, he barely escaped with his.

I kid. I jest. Let's move on.

On my travels throughout the blogosphere, this week I came across some very interesting posts. Here are a few of the highlights.

Conman at Conman at the Movies announces The Film Emotion Blogathon (only a couple days left to participate)
Anna at Film Grimoire lists her Top 7 James Bond Opening Title Sequences
Brittani of Rambling Film gives us another Indie Gem with her review of Blue Ruin
Bubbawheat at Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights gives us Five Reasons Why Fantastic Four Movies Fail
Cindy Bruchman of the blog with the same name tells us about A Dozen Perfect Films
Drew at A Fistful of Films released the 2014 Fisti Awards
Jay at Assholes Watching Movies goes all in on tattoos in a post called Inky Film
John of Hitchcock's World gives us Twenty Cop Movies That are Better than The Departed
m. brown at Two Dollar Cinema reviews the new Vacation
Stephen of Surrender to the Void finished up the series of his 150 Favorite Films 2000-2015 (That Isn't Lost in Translation)


  1. Thanks for the link-love. I try not to sit next to any kid. It's a good thing the movies I usually see aren't for kids. Yet, I'm annoyed by parents who would take their kids to see R-rated movies with violent and sexual content. I wouldn't do that if I was a parent.

  2. Oh, kids. I don't know if I could handle the age range you're talking. And I work with middle school age kids. Anyway, I have had several experiences with hundreds of kids in a movie theater. The struggle is real. But I've also had some rewarding ones re: our four ways conversation about Frozen.

  3. My kid is one of those that asks a billion questions and will go start a conversation with anyone in his vicinity. It's embarassing lol. Both myself and my husband are so quiet and shy. Not sure how we ended up with one who I know I'm going to have weekly "stranger danger" talks with.

    1. *stupid phone* so I know how you feel! I'm glad you didn't go full Homer. Thank for the link!

    2. That's funny. Look forward to those "stranger danger" talks.

  4. Ha ha! Kids and movies are not always a good mix. Great links!

  5. I've found kids to be surprisingly well behaved at the last several kids' movies I've been to - with occasional cute exclamations. But with a group that size, I imagine it's not only impossible, but probably beside the point. I imagine the movie is almost incidental.
    Lots of great reads here, can't wait to make the rounds. Thanks for including us.


    1. Yeah, nearly impossible with that many kids. For many of them, the movie is incidental, others are totally into it. Very mixed bag. Had to include you, that was a great article.