PARENTS

Tip Of The Day - How To Get Your Child To Behave In The Cinema

30/10/2009 10:33 | Updated 22 May 2015

There are some terrific children's films around at the moment, including Up and Fantastic Mr Fox. This week something is coming to the big screen specifically so that younger children can join their big brothers and sisters and enjoy their first cinema visit.

It's an episode of popular CBeebies programme In The Night Garden, and it's showing at selected cinemas around the UK.

But going to the movies with your child is a whole other planet away from adult cinema visits. So what can you do to help your children behave like proper little movie buffs?

Here are some hints:

  • Prepare them before you go

    Let them know that the lights will be turned off, so that they don't get scared when they do. Make it clear that they are expected to sit in the same place for the duration of the film. Just because other children may be wandering around doesn't mean they can.


  • Practise your cinema voice

Of course it would be great if everyone was quiet for the duration of the film, but in the real world, at a children's film, that's unlikely to happen. But certainly let them know that whispering is preferred, and practise a few stage whispers before you go in.

  • Take them to the loo before you go into the film

  • Easily forgotten, often regretted

  • Decide your family snack policy before you go

  • This will set the standard for years to come. If you shell out for popcorn, ice cream and a drink the first time, you and your wallet will be locked into that for years. Our policy is ten sweets only from the pic 'n mix, but then I am a bit mean.

  • Ask for a booster seat

  • Many cinemas will provide these for smaller children, and they are a bit easier on the knees than having a three year old perched there for two hours

  • Be prepared to leave if you have to

  • Some children just don't like being in the dark, or the noise of the cinema, so you may not make it all the way through your first film. Plus if it's a really boring cartoon, they may fall asleep

  • Go to a quieter show the first time

  • Wait until a film has been out a few weeks, or go to see an older film at one of the Saturday morning cinema clubs that many chains run.

    In The Night Garden is showing from the 2nd November to 12th December at these selected cinemas:

    Picturehouse cinemas:

    • The Belmont Picturehouse, Aberdeen
    • The Little Theatre Cinema, Bath
    • Duke of York's Picturehouse, Brighton
    • The Ritzy, Brixton
    • Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge
    • Clapham Picturehouse
    • The Cameo, Edinburgh
    • Exeter Picturehouse
    • Greenwich Picturehouse
    • Regal Picturehouse, Henley
    • Picturehouse at FACT, Liverpool
    • Cinema City, Norwich
    • The Gate, Notting Hill
    • Phoenix Picturehouse, Oxford
    • Harbour Lights Picturehouse, Southampton
    • Stratford Picturehouse, London
    • Stratford-upon-Avon Picturehouse
    • City Screen Picturehouse, York

    Independent cinemas:

    • QUAD, Derby
    • Broadway, Nottingham
    • Showroom, Sheffield
    • Phoenix Cinema, East Finchley
    • Scala Cinema, Prestatyn
    • Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle
    • Glasgow Film Theatre, Glasgow

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