August 19, 2005

Autistic Boy, 7, Frog-marched Out Of Penguin Movie at Loew's

Location: "Loews Cineplex theaters in the Galleria at Crystal Run"
State: NY, but come on, with a name like that, it could be anywhere Dramatis Personae: Anthony, a very photogenic 7-year-old with autism. In a wheelchair. Admittedly, has a hearty laugh.
shocked parents, family
"brusque" Cineplex manager
thousands of adorable penguins

Not mentioned in the article:
"evil prick that went to complain to the manager" [as per Dutch's accurate description]

Actually, just by reading the character list, you can guess what happened. But you wouldn't guess it'd happen only 15 minutes into the movie, or early on a Sunday, when the penguin-to-laughing kid ratio is at its absolute peak.

Disabled 7-year-old ejected from theater [recordonline.com, via sweet juniper]

Like you media-frenzy-fueled justice meted out instantly? Then read the follow-up:
Theater apologizes for booting family
[recordonline.com]

4 Comments

My oldest son has autism, and I've had to stop taking him to the movies because of the volume of the popcorn commercial before the movie. It was at noise pollution levels, and the movies didn't play as loudly. But the couldn't or wouldn't turn down the volume. And I would take him almost every weekend. So that is one adult ticket, a child ticket, popcorn, soda, candy, and nachos. So they are out at least $200 a month. I was just so afraid that one day he would stand up and start screaming at the volume. And there were a lot of other children covering their ears, so it just wasn't me.

My family and my autistic nephew were once asked to leave a movie. It was nominally a kid's movie (Elf), but he was only two and it was a five o'clock showing, so I could understand that his laughter at the pretty colors was out of line. It was a bad idea to go in the first place.

But...March of the Penguins? Cripes.

I'm a real prick when it comes to noise in movies, but even I wouldn't go so far as to demand that a disabled child be thrown out of a family film.

[It's pretty irrelevant in this case, but my non-Mormon roommate at BYU had a foolproof system for shutting people up in movies; he'd turn to whoever he was with and stage whisper, "Sorry, I'd really like to join your church, but I can't; the people are just too rude." I think it really only worked in Provo, Utah, though. -ed.]

has anyone considered that too many kids are diagnosed with asd and many have normal behavior that we just may not want? Im sick to my stomach of how unaccepting parents are of their kids, they need an explanation for sensory issues, language delays, behavior probs. we have kids to LOVE them

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