Movie Theaters

Private Watch Party is the New Way to Go


My husband and I have always loved the movies. We both have fond memories of going as kids with our families and wanted to be able to do that with our kids as well. But the movies can be a tough place for a kid that doesn’t understand the social cues of sitting still and being quiet. We contemplated for quite some time when we would attempt our first trip to the movies with Damion and had quite the checklist set up hoping to make the new experience a good one for him:

1) Pick a kid’s movie that he would be interested in.

This one seems pretty obvious for any kid. They are more likely to sit through a movie they like. Also, kids’ movie means other kids, which means a crowd that is generally more understanding if voices are heard occasionally in a theater.

2) Pick a smaller, local theater

The smaller local theaters around us generally pack less of a crowd. Plus, it is a nice way for us to continue to support our small local businesses.

3) Choose NOT a prime time

Obviously again, our goal was to not disrupt other people’s trips to the movies as well. Damion doesn’t tend to have an issue with crowds but it would be a plus to have minimal distractions for him as well.

4) One-on-One

There is a chance we will have to leave. The last thing we want to do is drag three crying kids out of the theater. Testing a new experience out like this, one-on-one, gives the opportunity to leave if we have to, also with more attention and less distractions we would be able to help Damion with reminders of the rules in the theater.

5) Make him follow the rules

Even if you are the only person in the theater, we try our best to make him stick to the rules. We know that Damion learns his environments fast and he is a creature of routine. If you let him not follow the rules now, there is a good chance he will not follow them later when you need or want him too. The way you allow him to act at this event will set a precedent for how he thinks he should act at the movies moving forward.

6) Make it a Private Watch Party if you can

So, we had a whole checklist made and had planned on his first movie for the summer of 2020. Then Covid hit and movie theaters shut down. When our local theater did finally open back up, they offered a new option called a Private Watch Party. The private watch party meant that you could actually rent out your own theater space, choose any movie from their list (new or older options), and invite up to 20 guests. This was a no brainer for us. We had the opportunity to go to the movies without the risk of disturbing other guests. We could take our whole crew together, and bring plenty of extra help. We still were adamant to make our kids follow the rules because our goal is for more movie events in the future. We still choose our showing time wisely, picking a movie later in the evening when they are a little more chill. We got the best seats in the house and all the guests understood our situation if our kids did not act the best, but they actually did great. This was the perfect option for us and a great way to start our practicing for when things fully return to normal.

For those who don’t have the option of a renting out a theater to themselves, I think 1-5 are a good start to follow to help make the new experience go pretty smooth. If you feel the price tag is steep to rent out the theater, see if there are other families with kids that want to pitch in for their tickets. If you get the full 20 people, the cost ends up about the same as buying a ticket for a regular movie showing. If you have a Cinemark nearby click Here for more info on a Private Watch Party or feel free to check out your own local theaters to see if they have similar promotions.