I just learned that E Street Cinema eliminated the Rattle & Reel program, the weekly film screening geared toward parents with small babies. Word has it that low attendance and strollers becoming a fire hazard were the reasons.
But it’s not the end of baby-friendly movies altogether. Several local cinemas host weekly and bi-weekly showings for film-goers with babes in tow. In case you’re not familiar with the concept, these are screenings where parents can watch a flick without worrying that their crying infant is disturbing other guests, because, chances are, those other movie patrons are concentrating on their own wailing child. Also, the lights are dim, not dark, and the volume is lower than normal. (For more about the concept, see this post.) And while there are no hard-and-fast rules, these programs generally seem to be for babies around 6 months and under.
Those of us with older kids are in luck as well. Special summer movie series for families have begun or are about to begin at local theaters and a couple of outdoor venues. These weekly programs invite guests to view films on the very cheap and sometimes even for free!
Here’s a list of local theaters offering baby-friendly and summer family screenings. If you know of any others, feel free to mention them in the comments section, and I’ll add them to the list.
Regal Cinemas Potomac Yards
What: Mommy & Me (don’t let the name fool ya — all caregivers welcome)
When: Every other Tuesday at 10am (next up is Hangover II on June 14)
Tickets: $9 regular matinee price
AFI Silver Theatre
What: Silver Babies
When: Fridays at 10:30am
The Movies at Montgomery Mall
What: Movies & Moms
When: Wednesdays at 10am
Tickets: “Classic” movies are free; New movies are $5, kids 5 and under are free
The Majestic (Regal Majestic 20 in Silver Spring)
What: Movie Moms Club
When: Wednesdays, first two matinees
Tickets: $8.75, $7.75/ages 3-11, free for ages 2 and under
Regal Summer Movie Express
What: Family movies at Regal Theaters
When: Tuesdays & Wednesday at 10am starting June 28 (check website for schedules)
Noma Summer Screen
What: Outdoor movies – L Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenue NE
When: Wednesday evenings, food starts at 7pm, movie starts at 9pm
Movies on the Potomac
What: Outdoor movies at the National Waterfront
When: Sunday evenings June 12 – September 4
Summer Film Series @ The Atlas
What: Family Series
When: Saturdays at 5pm July 2 – September 3
Tickets: Free, but there is a $2 booking fee