Ad Promotes Bringing Baby to Movies, Toddler Dies From Popcorn
In an odd juxtaposition of two seemingly unrelated incidents, a toddler choked on popcorn at a movie theater then died and a recent Loews Cinema ad urged moms to bring their baby to the movies.
On August 17, a three year old choked on a piece of popcorn at a Long Island cinema and died during a showing of Alien vs. Predator.
On September 1, Lowes Cinema ran an ad in AM New York, eerily sponsored by Child Magazine, promoting Tuesday and Thursday "Reel Mom" days on which moms are welcomed to bring their baby to the theater ostensibly without fear of frustrated retribution from other movie goers annoyed by wailing babies. Oddly, the ad pictures a big bucket of popcorn next to a baby bottle.
Aside from the questionable motivation of the parents bringing a three year old to watch the PG-13 rated Alien vs. Predator, one wonders why parents bring toddlers and babies to the movies in the first place. The Loews Cinema "Reel Moms" days are actually a good thing. Other movie patrons will know to stay away those days. That's smart business and it's good for the enjoyment of the movie goer. But when entire families with kids and babies in tow show up during times and showings clearly not appropriate for small children, it makes one want to demand their money back. Aggressively stereotyping here, the families with kids that do show up are usually families that have near zero control over their kids allowing them to aimlessly wander the theater unsupervised. Apart from the potential trauma experienced by a two year old viewing R rated movie content, the practice creates a horrific movie experience for the other patrons in the theater.
Despite the odd juxtaposition of events, Loews should be commended for offering specific movie times in which babies are welcome. Not everyone who likes to go to the movies can afford a babysitter. It might be wise, though, to dissuade parent with babies from buying popcorn.