Film-Tech Cinema Systems
Film-Tech Forum

my profile | my password | search | faq & rules | forum home
  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Ground Level   » Child With Down Syndrom Booted for Laughing too Loud

Author Topic: Child With Down Syndrom Booted for Laughing too Loud
Michael Putlack
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 187
From: Fort Collins, Colorado
Registered: Sep 2011

 - posted 03-28-2013 09:36 AM      Profile for Michael Putlack   Author's Homepage   Email Michael Putlack   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It's stories like these that make me want to ram my face through a wall.

Down's Syndrome Child Booted Out Of Cineworld 'For Laughing Too Loud'

A mother has complained to Cineworld after her daughter, who has Down's Syndrome, was kicked out of a children's film for laughing too loudly.

Ema Louise Brown took her seven-year-old daughter Sienna and nine-year-old son Shaun to watch The Croods, an animated comedy, on Broad Street in Birmingham.

However despite the whole theatre laughing uproariously, she said she was surprised to be approached by an usher.

She posted on the Facebook page for Down Syndrome Awareness later to explain what happened, writing: "Sienna was laughing her head off, as were the other children, but we were asked to leave by a very rude member of staff because she was apparently laughing too loud!

"I said to him she has down's and is quite loud at times, but was only laughing, and he said to me 'well I need you to leave.'"

After Ms Brown asked to speak to his manager, another member of staff came over and repeated their request for the family to go.

Though Ms Brown told them they were guilty of discrimination, the manager ignored her pleas and walked off, while the first member of staff reportedly replied: "You shouldn't take your child to the cinema."

She said she then lost her temper, and shouted at the man: "Because my child has downs and is loud with her laugh, because she doesnt understand she needs to laugh quietly, I shouldn't take her out?"

Calling on other members of the group to boycott the chain, she said she had repeatedly complained but no one had replied.

However after she posted her story on several Facebook groups, including Cineworld's own page, social media users rallied on her behalf.

Cineworld later posted "To all those who have commented, we were extremely sorry to hear about Ema Louise Brown's experience with her family on Saturday. We are arranging for her to return to our cinema later this week to meet our senior management team and share views on how we can handle these situations more sensitively."

However some Facebook users were not pacified, with one writing: "Handle these situations! That girl was shamed through no fault of her own. The staff had no right doing what they did, discriminating because of her disability. Let's hope that they can make it up to this child who probably feels as though she has done something wrong when she hasn't! Something like this could easily halt the progress she has made and stop her wanting to go to social gatherings for fear of being thrown out! Hope the staff involved are proud of themselves!!"

 |  IP: Logged

Martin McCaffery
Film God

Posts: 2481
From: Montgomery, AL
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 03-28-2013 10:17 AM      Profile for Martin McCaffery   Author's Homepage   Email Martin McCaffery   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I saw it was in Birmingham and thought, "Oh crap, Alabama's at it again." Then noticed it was Huffington Post UK. Phew.

I have no idea what the laws are in the UK, but if this had been the US and the incident happened as the mother described, the management of that theatre would be bleeding cash through the ears.

Even if it is not true about laughing too loud, what could a child do at a children's show that would merit being asked to leave? This seems a little fishy, the followup may be interesting.

 |  IP: Logged

Manny Knowles
"What are these things and WHY are they BLUE???"

Posts: 4247
From: Bloomington, IN, USA
Registered: Feb 2002

 - posted 03-28-2013 10:31 AM      Profile for Manny Knowles   Email Manny Knowles   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I blame texting.

In particular, the acronyms like "LOL" and "ROFL" and "LMFAO" etc.

Most people aren't actually laughing when they type these things. Certainly not laughing out loud. And DEFINITELY NOT rolling on the floor.

I suspect laughter has been reduced to a mere concept -- just a figure of speech now -- and nobody under a certain age has ever actually laughed out loud.

Is "The Croods" really that funny?

 |  IP: Logged

Randy Stankey
Film God

Posts: 6539
From: Erie, Pennsylvania
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 03-28-2013 11:48 AM      Profile for Randy Stankey   Email Randy Stankey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I don't care who you are, what you are, whether you are retarded, normal or whether you claim to be affected by any disease or or condition; you can laugh during the funny parts of a movie, cry during the sad parts or scream during the scary parts but, during the rest of the movie, shut the fuck up! Abide by that rule and everything's cool by me. If you don't abide by that rule, get the fuck out! It's simple, really. [Wink]

Okay, I said that just to be funny but I think most people get the idea.

I've been watching movie in theaters or have presided over the presentations of movies in theaters where one of the customers has had Down's Syndrome, Tourette Syndrome or Spastic Cerebral Palsy and, for the most part, those people are quite well behaved. Once in a while there will be an afflicted individual who laughs louder, longer or idiosyncratically but, unless they do it when there is no "stimulus" I don't have a problem with that. Occasionally, it is entertaining in its own right. [Wink] Occasionally, I have come across an individual who, through no fault of his own, can't stop making "Retard noises" during the quite parts of the movie. Those people can be really annoying!

Most of the time, family, friends and aides for people with these conditions try to attend movies during the day when there are fewer people and, therefore, have less chances of disrupting the movie for others. I have, however, had to speak with people who have companions who can't stay quiet. There are a couple of times I can remember, specifically.

The first time, the people left on their own. Presumably, they came back later. I don't know for sure because I was watching the movie, not paying attention to them. The other time was at the Tom Ridge Center when the person's companion specifically asked me whether there would be anybody else watching the movie. I helped them find a showtime where nobody else would be in the theater. It worked out well. Everybody was happy. They bought lots of popcorn, too... most of which I had to sweep up, later! [Wink]

The bottom line goes back to what I said at the beginning. Laugh, cry, scream or make retarded noises when it's appropriate. Be quiet the rest of the time. If you can't do that, leave. I don't care who you are. If you can't behave, don't come to the movies in the first place.

 |  IP: Logged

Frank Cox
Film God

Posts: 2234
From: Melville Saskatchewan Canada
Registered: Apr 2011

 - posted 03-28-2013 12:09 PM      Profile for Frank Cox   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Cox   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
You can do what you want in my theatre as long as you aren't disturbing my other customers. Simple rule.

I have asked people with crying babies and little kids who continually run up and down the aisle to leave the theatre. And people who don't know how to shut up while the show is on. (I blame home videos where people talk while the television is blaring away).

I used to run special "extra" shows in the afternoon for the local group home/sheltered workshop. That way they aren't disturbing anyone but themselves.

In the situation described in the article, I might have asked them to leave as well. By all means, enjoy the movie. But don't interfere with the enjoyment of the other people who are in the room with you.

 |  IP: Logged

Randy Stankey
Film God

Posts: 6539
From: Erie, Pennsylvania
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 03-28-2013 12:15 PM      Profile for Randy Stankey   Email Randy Stankey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The article didn't say whether the kid was laughing or making noise out of place.

That is the determining factor.

 |  IP: Logged

Brad Miller

Posts: 17775
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99

 - posted 03-28-2013 01:47 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Frank Cox
You can do what you want in my theatre as long as you aren't disturbing my other customers. Simple rule.
Hmmmm, there's an awful lot of things that people could do without disturbing other customers. [evil]

 |  IP: Logged

Steve R Pike
Film Handler

Posts: 66
From: Gloucestershire, UK
Registered: Apr 2011

 - posted 03-28-2013 03:12 PM      Profile for Steve R Pike   Email Steve R Pike   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I am a projectionist at an independent town cinema/theatre.

We have 'Sensory Friendly' screenings built into our programme which allows parents to bring their children who may, or may not, have special needs. We have the house lighting up a tiny bit so that the children can sing, shout and walk about. It's an extremely popular screening. These screenings are usually the 2D version of a 3D film.

The two closest multiplexes near to us are both Cineworlds (the chain featured in the article) - and shame on them for the behaviour of their staff and management.

At least the independents seem to care bout their customers [Smile]

 |  IP: Logged

Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10973
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001

 - posted 03-29-2013 09:51 AM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Brad Miller
Hmmmm, there's an awful lot of things that people could do without disturbing other customers.
The movie was playing, but the real entertainment was happenin' in the back row.
[sex] [Big Grin]

 |  IP: Logged

Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12767
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 03-29-2013 12:25 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Unless a disabled patron was causing extreme disturbance I wouldn't take any action on them.

BUT! A person who has a child who tends to "act out" in that way should have consideration for the feelings of the other patrons, who have also paid their good money to be entertained. They could attend a movie on an off night, for example.

Too much of our society today is based on the "I'll do whatever the 'F' I want and I don't care what other people think" mentality. That's fine, if you're not stepping on other people's rights in the process. The other patrons in that theatre have the right, which they paid for, to see the movie in an enjoyable atmosphere.

Bottom line: the theater staff acted inappropriately but so did the mom.

 |  IP: Logged

Louis Bornwasser
Film God

Posts: 4441
From: prospect ky usa
Registered: Mar 2005

 - posted 03-29-2013 01:14 PM      Profile for Louis Bornwasser   Author's Homepage   Email Louis Bornwasser   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I was really hoping that behavior had not made it to Montana yet.

 |  IP: Logged

Adam Holland
Film Handler

Posts: 66
From: Oak Grove, LA
Registered: Nov 2007

 - posted 03-29-2013 09:07 PM      Profile for Adam Holland   Email Adam Holland   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
This is one of the reasons Cry Rooms such as what we have should be reinstated as a standard part of cinema design. I have on many occasions asked parents with small children or babies to go to the cry room and 99.9 percent of the time they do so without any lip. Only one time have I been accused of picking on a person for asking them to go to the cry room.

 |  IP: Logged

Dustin Mitchell
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1865
From: Mondovi, WI, USA
Registered: Mar 2000

 - posted 03-29-2013 11:15 PM      Profile for Dustin Mitchell   Email Dustin Mitchell   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
These situations are never easy to handle. Unless we were there its very hard to judge either side; perhaps the theatre staff were out of line, perhaps the child was laughing so loudly and so continuously the other customers had a hard time hearing the dialogue, who knows.

One specific incident I remember was when I had to ask a disabled patron and their chaperone to leave because he was grinding his teeth too loudly.

Yes, grinding his teeth too loudly. This happened before Myspace/Facebook got big, so perhaps that saved me some internet embarrassment, but can you imagine how that could have gone down in today's social media landscape?

Now that half the people reading this have judged me as being some sort of asshole, let me elaborate. I actually received a complaint from another patron that someone was grinding their teeth loudly. I thought the person had to be freaking nuts, but I went to check on the situation regardless, to at least show the complainer that I cared. To my shock I could her the person-sitting near the front of the theatre-grinding their teeth immediately as I walked in the back of the auditorium. It was LOUD and very distracting, especially because it was a quiet movie.

I refunded their tickets and half eaten concessions, I might have even given them a pass, I don't remember; all I do remember is it was the most awkward and uncomfortable thing I have ever had to do as a theatre employee, and that's saying a lot.

 |  IP: Logged

Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12767
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 03-29-2013 11:27 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I can vouch that teeth-grinding can be loud. My dad used to grind his in his sleep, and you could hear him 40 feet away in the kitchen. I don't think it's the volume as much as the uniqueness of the sound -- nothing sounds quite like that.

 |  IP: Logged

All times are Central (GMT -6:00)  
   Close Topic    Move Topic    Delete Topic    next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:

Powered by Infopop Corporation

The Film-Tech Forums are designed for various members related to the cinema industry to express their opinions, viewpoints and testimonials on various products, services and events based upon speculation, personal knowledge and factual information through use, therefore all views represented here allow no liability upon the publishers of this web site and the owners of said views assume no liability for any ill will resulting from these postings. The posts made here are for educational as well as entertainment purposes and as such anyone viewing this portion of the website must accept these views as statements of the author of that opinion and agrees to release the authors from any and all liability.

© 1999-2020 Film-Tech Cinema Systems, LLC. All rights reserved.