Even in this age of home theatre and movies on demand, I still get a thrill out of going out to the movies. As a parent, I have been waiting for the right time to take my kid to her first movie in the theatre. Last summer, two things happened: my daughter turned 4 and Winnie The Pooh was released to theatres. Short (it’s only an hour) and friendly (Winnie the Pooh!), it seemed like the perfect movie for my skittish daughter to see on the big screen. The time had come.
I don’t know who was more excited, me or my daughter. We stopped at the washroom before hitting up the concession stand (a tip I strongly endorse). I couldn’t wait for her to try her first movie theatre popcorn. Sadly for me, she wasn’t interested in my popcorn tradition — especially not with all that candy at eye level. I negotiated her down to splitting some Twizzlers and popcorn with her dad and I, and we went in to get our seats.
It was the middle of the afternoon, and the theatre was nearly empty. We sat down, and the commercials began. My daughter had to watch most of them with her hands over her eyes. (I don’t understand why they don’t ensure the previews are as friendly as the movie.) She was really scared at one point, and I thought we might have to bail on our outing, but she powered through.
Then the movie began. The animation and storytelling was clever, and while both my husband and I each took turns dozing off a little, my daughter seemed to enjoy the flick. There were still some scenes that had her frightened and curled up tight, but she seems to have emerged unscathed. A good sign given that in the past, she freaked during an episode of Dora where there was a mean witch. Not that I blame her — I still have to watch a lot of movies with my eyes partially covered and gripping someone’s hand.
At what age did you take your child to their first movie? What movie did you choose and how did it go?
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