A woman takes her baby out for a stroll along the beach in La Jolla, California May 12, 2014. A high pressure system is expected to bring record breaking heat to Southern California over the next few days. REUTERS/Mike Blake
A mother who wanted to watch the 15-rated film movie Bad Neighbours in Vue cinema in Cambridge got barred and kicked out by cinema officials. The reason? She brought along her 11-week-old baby with her.
Cinema officials told Sam Ross, a mother of two and a teaching assistant at a special needs school in Cambridge, she would be breaking the law if she insists on watching the age-specific film with her baby and another friend.
Bad Neighbours (trailer here) is a 15-rated comedy about a young couple suffering from arrested development who are forced to live next to a fraternity house after the birth of their newborn baby.
Ross said she found it illogical to bar her and the baby from watching the film.
"At just 11-weeks-old she is totally oblivious to what's going on, she would have just gone off to sleep. It was a comedy not a violent film."
"If she was screaming and interrupting everyone I would totally understand and would never stay in the cinema, but she was completely fine. There were only six other people in the whole room."
What further irritated the young mom was that she and her friend were sold tickets only to be booted out of the cinema while watching the trailers ahead of the 15-rated comedy Bad Neighbours.
"It was totally humiliating, we were escorted out. I was really looking forward to watching the movie and catching up with a friend. As a new parent I don't get out that often and it can be difficult to find things you can do with friends."
"We were told we were breaking the law and that it was a criminal offence. It felt like we were being discriminated against. It's never been a problem before."
A spokesman for Vue said they only allow small children to enter the cinemas if the movie rating was a U, PG and 12A-rated, all in accordance with official guidelines.
"On this particular occasion the customer should have been advised that babies are not permitted into 15 certificate films and declined the sale. Vue Entertainment apologises for any inconvenience caused and we are taking steps to ensure it doesn't happen again in future."
Emilie Carrington, local editor of parenting Web site Mumsnet Cambridge, said it is a somehow accepted norm that mothers bring in with them their very small children when they watch films.
"The cinema can be a great place for a new mum and a small baby as most tiny babies are unaffected by the noise and sleep throughout the film. It can feel great to get out of the house and do something 'grown up.'"
"However, many Mumsnetters recommend going to screenings designated for mums with babies."
"Ultimately the decision is with the cinema who must act within bounds of the law."