Dear Letchworth Broadway Cinema,
I rather love you. Always have, for as long as I’ve know you. One of the best things about living in this part of the world is you. You’re an independent cinema in a lovely building. Your weekday prices used to be £3.75 but are now £4.50. This is awesome.
I have fond memories of you. The evening before my ex-wife went into labour with our first son we sat, in comfy seats, which I know she appreciated being so close to her due date and watched The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. My ex-wife and I are massive film buffs and both of us thought you were the best cinema in the world ever.
Yesterday decided I’d take my two children, my son now 3 and my daughter, 21 months, to the Kids Club screening of Top Cat this morning. To avoid disappointment I booked the tickets last night so we could be sure of getting in as I had no idea how busy this could be.
£1 each. Bargain.
Hang on a tick, why am I being charged £4.05p for 3 tickets which cost £1 each. Oh, you have an online booking fee. Something I wouldn’t be paying if I turned up just before the screening. A bit odd. Anyhow, the tickets are cheap so I shouldn’t mind.
*Something niggles at me a bit*
Actually, I do mind this. It’s all relative I guess and £1 per seat is good but a booking charge which costs more than a seat, for the convenience factor of making sure I don’t clog up your foyer with impatient children? Dunno. Feel a bit penalised for having forethought. Anyhow, I digress…
I still went to bed loving you, thinking about you, and woke this morning singing the Top Cat theme tune. My first cinema experience with my children beckoning. AWESOME O’CLOCK.
Actually, that’s not true. We took T to a few Parent and Baby Screenings when he was a baby and he slept right through them.
Hmmmm. *Something from then niggles at me a bit*
Yeah. One parent and baby screening session my ex-wife and I went to was held in a theatre upstairs. Lots of mums, and babies in pushchairs, and the world’s smallest lift. Suitable for one person and a pushchair and the only thing able to carry people upstairs.
I’ve questioned this often, now I think about it. Mums bring babies, and babies come with child transportation devices. Putting the parent and baby screening session in an upstairs theatre, which you can only access by a lift, only able to take one person at a time does seem a little bit stoopid. Especially when there were two empty theatres downstairs.
I guess we were lucky. Both me and my ex-wife went so I could carry the pushchair down the flight of stairs. Not the safest move in the world but I’m quite strong.
But a little thought wouldn’t go amiss would it. Eh?
So, back to today.
Go to the cinema with my children for a kids club screening but was told I couldn’t take my pushchair in. Fairy nuff. K got out and stood. Was told couldn’t take my bag in. Not really MY bag as it contains nothing of mine, merely nappies and wipes for a girl not yet able to use the toilet. Accepted, grudgingly.
Sorry? What was that?
I can’t take in her sippy bottle thing? Why not?
Because you don’t allow it?
Actually really really?
It’s a bit like finding out your loved one used to be a man called Geoff.. The shocking realisation that everything you held knew to be true isn’t. You don’t mind it, because actually you still love them, but something’s changed.
But it’s only got water in.
Sorry. Not allowed.
To be fair to your staff I think they realised I’d go mental about this. Asking for the details of your manager and promising to contact them may have helped my case. Perhaps it was my mad scary blue eyes. Perhaps I just argued my point wel,l but eventually you let my 21 month old daughter in with her sippy bottle. To be honest you dodged a bullet because if the bottle HAD been forcibly removed from her she would’ve KICKED OFF. She’s beautiful to look at, with a face that would turn a stone heart to putty, but she’s definitely got my temper.
Oh fuck. Here comes the flood.
To be honest she may need a nappy change. But I’ve had to leave my fucking bag full of nappies and wipes at the foyer. Check my bag. Nothing in it other than nappies and wipes. Nadda. But no. I can’t take this in.
Why can’t I take nappies and wipes and a sippy bottle into a… wait for it… KIDS CLUB SCREENING?
Give me a good fucking reason and I’ll walk away, happy and fulfilled. Your argument filling all the nonsensical gaps in this scenario.
How many less rabid parents were told they couldn’t do this? To be honest your staff looked quite young so maybe some people with parental experience at these screenings would be a good idea but, in all truth…
…I’ve fallen out of love with you a bit.
It’s not me. It’s you. You disappointed me. A real cinematic experience, for me and my children was somewhat arsed up. But I know you can change. Just like you did when you became Geoff.
Thanks for reading and please let me know if you’ve encountered such hideous child/parent/baby nonsense policy balls in the past. In my usual slot. I kiss you on both cheeks.