Baby-friendly theaters? Yes, please.
We sure love our DVRs and Netflix, but refuse to give up on going to the theater. Did you know some theaters also have special showings for new parents? These showings have different names in different cities, but the idea that yours will not (most likely) be the loudest baby in the movie theater is the common thread.
I thought I was pretty magical when I sat in a movie theater while doing my first in public breastfeeding (without crying!) when Julian was 5 weeks old. (This mistakenly led Heather, my 19-weeks pregnant escort, to believe that nursing is easy.) Both of our firstborns were frequent attendees of “Baby Brigade” during their first year.
Stroller matinees are a good early outing for freaked out new parents. Crying is totally allowed.
This is your ninth weekly rookie mom challenge. Even if you cannot find a mom and baby movie in your area, consider taking a risk on an 11 am showing. Heather and I brought baby Milo to Knocked Up while I was super pregnant with Scarlett. We saw the first show of the day and only one other person was in the theater. Milo stayed in his carseat for much of the movie and when he got sick of that, Heather held him up on her lap facing the movie. The volume at the theater is much louder than any grunting or fussing that tiny babies do.
- In Seattle, WA, the Varsity Theater has a soundproof “crying room” in the rear of one of the theaters, so parents can watch without disturbing other movie-goers.
- Portland, Oregon’s hip Kennedy School Movie Theater invites moms and babies to the first showing on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
- In San Diego, bring your baby to the movies at the Angelika Film Center on Wednesdays at 11 am or Reading Cinemas Town Square and Gaslamp on Thursdays at 11.
- In Orange County, CA, movies for parents and their babies are shown at Reading Cinemas Cal Oaks in Murrieta.
- In LA, Monday Morning Mommy Movies are shown weekly at 11:00 am at the Grove, Culver City, Glendale, and Northridge.
- In the San Francisco Bay Area, try The New Parkway in Oakland for “Baby Brigade” showings; and the Rialto Cinemas Cerrito theater for “Bringing Up Baby”.
- Camera Cinemas in Campbell, CA has both Diaper Days and Diaper Date Nights for new parents who want to see movies.
- In Sonoma County, CA, the Reading Cinemas Rohnert Park offers Cry Baby Matinees once a week.
- AFI Silver Theatre, Silver Spring, MD welcomes parents to “Silver Babies,” with shows one Friday morning a month.
- In Fairfax, VA, the Mosaic offers Cry Baby Matinees on Mondays at 11 am
- Washington DCs Angelika Film Center hosts Cry Baby Matinees on Wednesdays.
- In NYC, City Cinemas on E. 86th invites babies on Wednesdays.
- In Plano, Texas, The Angelika presents Cry Baby Matinee on Thursdays
- In Dallas, The Angelika invites parents to bring babies to the movies on Tuesday AND Wednesdays afternoons.
- In Hawaii, Maui’s KAʻAHUMANU theater hosts movies for baby owners, and so do the other locations in the Consolidated Theater chain: Ward with TITAN XC; ‘Ōlino; Mililani; Pearlridge; Kapolei; Kahala Theatre; Koko Marina; Koʻolau; Kaʻahumanu
- O, Canada, I didn’t forget you! Here’s a huge list of theaters with “Stars and Strollers” programs in Canada, listed by province.
Have you taken your baby to a movie? Please tell us where!
Loved it or hated it?
Not quite ready for a movie? Pick a challenge from an earlier week.
photos: theater interior Associated Press