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Author Topic: Reel Moms
Jeffry L. Johnson
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 809
From: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Registered: Apr 2000

 - posted 08-03-2003 07:24 PM      Profile for Jeffry L. Johnson   Author's Homepage   Email Jeffry L. Johnson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Special Showings

Life News

Special showings let moms escape real life for reel life

Michael Heaton
Plain Dealer Reporter

The scene at the Loews Cineplex at Richmond Town Square looked like a cinephile's worst nightmare. Take 20 young mothers with 20 infants, put them in a movie theater and roll "Seabiscuit."

But this past Tuesday morning, nobody complained about the crying because the only patrons were the young parents and their babies. Cleveland is one of 15 metropolitan areas with a theater participating in a Loews Cinemas program called Reel Moms. Every Tuesday at Richmond Town Square there's a special 11 a.m. screening for parents or caregivers with children under 2.

Older siblings are allowed, but the screenings are geared toward kids too young to watch a film. Some of the films are rated PG-13 or R. The babies get in free and the moms get to see a first-run film.

"This is our third week and we've had an increase of about five to seven moms a week," said Loews publicist Tina Vey Tindall, who is about to give birth to her first child.

Kendra Rocco brought her 1-year-old son, John, for his first movie Tuesday.

"I wouldn't take him to regular movies because I wouldn't want him to disturb other people. Last week we took him to the drive-in and he slept. He did not see 'Bad Boys II'," she added.

Amy Mangano brought her 6-month-old twins, Sophie and Grace, for the second week in a row.

"I saw a segment about the program on the 'Today' show," said Mangano, who was joined by her husband, Bill, one of only two fathers at the matinee.

In addition to the "babies welcome" policy and the $5 ticket prices, the screening has other amenities with moms in mind.

The theater is only half as dark so the moms can see to take care of their kids and the sound in the auditorium is only half as loud so it won't frighten the babies.

Tindall said one common misconception about the program is that the movies are for kids. It's for moms with kids.

"We show first-run films, whatever is the most popular," Tindall said.

"Pirates of the Caribbean" was shown last week; the new Jennifer Lopez-Ben Affleck movie "Gigli" is scheduled this week.

"It's also a chance for moms to get out of the house and get together," Tindall said.

As attendance grows, speakers and giveaways may be added to the screenings. It's also an opportunity for Loews to expand its market.

"They are tapping a sizable market of people who don't normally get out to theaters," said Marty Grove, entertainment industry columnist for the Hollywood Reporter Online. "Some can't get baby sitters, or afford them. Sometimes the baby is too young to leave with someone else. I think it's a great idea."

Dan Marks, executive vice president at Nielsen EDI, a box-office tracking authority, also admires the concept although he said he's not familiar with the program.

"The auditorium is empty on a Tuesday morning anyway, they already have the movie there," Marks said. "Why not appeal to a new audience?"

While Seabiscuit the racehorse racked up victory after victory on the screen Tuesday, moms walked or carried their kids up and down the aisles. Some kids cried, some slept.

Three 10-month-old boys had fun climbing stairs while others drank juice and played on blankets spread out down front in the wheelchair section.

When the final credits rolled, most of the moms felt like they had seen almost the whole movie.

"The only difference is that the ushers have to sweep up Cheerios rather than popcorn," said Rebecca Marks as she left with her 10-month-old son, Zachary, asleep in her arms.

Theater and movie listings can be found at

To reach this Plain Dealer reporter:, 216-999-4569

© 2003 The Plain Dealer.

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Gerard S. Cohen
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 975
From: Forest Hills, NY, USA
Registered: Sep 2001

 - posted 08-03-2003 08:28 PM      Profile for Gerard S. Cohen   Email Gerard S. Cohen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Not mentioned, but perhaps a major health plus, is that such an audience environment of "reel moms" would make it more convenient for nursing mothers. It is well proven that nursing
provides major health benefits for both infants and their mothers, despite the formula manufacturers' propaganda (sent to the third-world.)

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Daryl C. W. O'Shea
Film God

Posts: 3977
From: Midland Ontario Canada (where Panavision & IMAX lenses come from)
Registered: Jun 2002

 - posted 08-03-2003 11:58 PM      Profile for Daryl C. W. O'Shea   Author's Homepage   Email Daryl C. W. O'Shea   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
... the new Jennifer Lopez-Ben Affleck movie "Gigli" is scheduled this week.
There goes the program's popularity. [Smile]

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Peter Kerchinsky
Master Film Handler

Posts: 326
From: Seattle, WA, USA
Registered: Jan 2002

 - posted 08-04-2003 04:57 AM      Profile for Peter Kerchinsky   Email Peter Kerchinsky   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Amen to that. That movie just plains SUCKS. Gooble, gooble.

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Mike Williams
Master Film Handler

Posts: 255
From: Knoxville, TN
Registered: Feb 2002

 - posted 08-04-2003 11:39 AM      Profile for Mike Williams   Email Mike Williams   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I think it's a good idea. Although, I would bet the people that are inconsiderate enough to bring a screaming baby to a movie on a Friday or Saturday night would still come on a Friday or Saturday night with their kid.

This program can only bring good in my opinion. Most likely many of the parents that attend would not usually bother going to the movies (or attend much less frequently). It's a good boost for attendance... although I doubt it will be positive for the concession per cap.

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John Pytlak
Film God

Posts: 9987
From: Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Registered: Jan 2000

 - posted 08-04-2003 12:16 PM      Profile for John Pytlak   Author's Homepage   Email John Pytlak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I agree, it's a great idea! Memories of our daughters as babies/toddlers two decades ago are fading, but I do know that we would have loved going to the movies without the hassle of finding a babysitter, etc. Parents live on the baby's schedule, so early morning screenings would be fine.

I do hope the theatre is fully equipped for baby care (e.g., changing tables in the restrooms, bottle warming facilities) and they keep the sound at a level that will not harm the baby's hearing.

For older pre-school children, an in-theatre childcare center can be succesful in attracting parents who might otherwise stay home. Kinopolis in Europe has done it, and Rochester's Wegmans Food Markets have "W-Kids" care centers at their modern stores so parents can shop while the kids are cared for:

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Gordon McLeod
Film God

Posts: 9532
From: Toronto Ontario Canada
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 08-04-2003 02:01 PM      Profile for Gordon McLeod   Email Gordon McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We have had 2 groupd in toronto the largest is MOVIES FOR MOMMIES that have a usually wed screening at a large smatting of local theatres
Films are shown in mono at a lower level and the house lights are left at the mid level fro the entire screening
THere are diapers and changing stations set up in the lobby

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Carl Martin
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1424
From: Oakland, CA, USA
Registered: Feb 2002

 - posted 08-04-2003 05:53 PM      Profile for Carl Martin   Author's Homepage   Email Carl Martin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
i hope they don't have too much of a problem with spit-ups and dribbly doo-doos. it would be nice if they were more inclusive of reel dads too. no, i'm not a daddy.


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John Pytlak
Film God

Posts: 9987
From: Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Registered: Jan 2000

 - posted 08-05-2003 09:58 AM      Profile for John Pytlak   Author's Homepage   Email John Pytlak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Monday's NBC Nightly News had a very positive piece on Loews Cineplex offering the "Mommy" shows. It even brought a smile to Tom Brokaw's face. [Cool]

Looked like a big success, with some auditoriums quite full. Only problem I saw was that they were allowing diapers to be changed right in the auditorium, sometimes on the seats or floor. Even if there is no mess [Roll Eyes] , the smell would not be pleasant. [bs] [puke]

IMHO, diaper changes should be done in the restrooms with changing tables provided.

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Jeff Stricker
Master Film Handler

Posts: 481
From: Calumet, Mi USA
Registered: Nov 1999

 - posted 08-05-2003 07:34 PM      Profile for Jeff Stricker   Email Jeff Stricker   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
There goes the "cry rooms"

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Steve Anderson
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 168
From: Nashville, TN
Registered: Feb 2000

 - posted 08-07-2003 04:36 PM      Profile for Steve Anderson   Author's Homepage   Email Steve Anderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I would not want my child crawling on the floor of the theaters we have in Nashville. They would be stuck from all the goo on the floor.

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