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TOPIC: Disabled Teen Kicked Out Of Theater For Laughing Too Loudly

Disabled Teen Kicked Out Of Theater For Laughing Too Loudly 03 Mar 2006 13:09 #12316

  • puzzlegut
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I came across this article and I was curious what the rest of you had to say about it. Do you think the theater handled the situation appropriately, or do you think the disabled teen should have been allowed the stay and watch the rest of the movie, despite him disturbing the other patrons?
http://www.local6.com/news/7542555/detail.html

Disabled Teen Kicked Out Of Theater For Laughing Too Loudly

POSTED: 11:54 am EST February 28, 2006
UPDATED: 12:30 am EST March 1, 2006

OLDSMAR, Fla. -- The mother of a disabled teen complained to the American Civil Liberties Union after she and her son were kicked out of a movie theater because he was laughing too loudly.

Susan Brown said she and her 19-year-old son, Matt, were asked to leave an AMC Woodlands 20 theater during a showing of "The Pink Panther" Sunday. An AMC spokeswoman said several patrons complained about the teen's outbursts.

Susan Brown said she was outraged. Her son has Angelman syndrome, a neurological disorder that impairs a person's ability to speak and maintain balance. The disorder also affects mental development and can prompt excessive laughter and seizures.

"Here's a child that was laughing at a comedy," she said. "His way of expressing delight and joy at this movie was laughing, but because his communication technique got in the way of someone else's space, he had to leave."

Brown, 46, said her son laughed at all the funny parts during "The Pink Panther," a slapstick comedy starring Steve Martin as Inspector Clouseau. He also laughed at some parts that others didn't find so funny, she said.

About an hour into the film, a manager approached and asked her to step outside. After refusing because she couldn't leave her son unattended, the manager asked them to leave. She refused their offer of a refund.

"Several members of the theater audience complained that the guest's outbursts were disruptive," AMC spokeswoman Melanie Bell said in a statement.

Brown said Matt has always enjoyed the movies. He's never been asked to leave before.

"We won't change our lives," she said. "We'll keep going to the movies, but we won't go there, obviously."
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Re: Disabled Teen Kicked Out Of Theater For Laughing Too Loudly 03 Mar 2006 18:36 #12317

  • outaframe
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AT FIRST GLANCE it appears the theater was way out of line, but we have only heard ONE side of the story... Until the whole story is told, there is not enough evidence to form an informed opinion...

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Re: Disabled Teen Kicked Out Of Theater For Laughing Too Loudly 04 Mar 2006 23:26 #12318

  • Dominic
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When I was faced with a similar situation we bent over backwards to get the lady and her daughter to calm down.
I stand behind the theater manager on this one if the circumstances are similar.
I probably would have had to have our problem guest removed by the police after she became beligerant with me whilst trying to speak with her about the situation.
Ultimately I'd rather loose her once a year business than that of 6 other patrons whom received refuns.
However every avenue must first be persued to avoid being shut down by a lawsuit.
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Re: Disabled Teen Kicked Out Of Theater For Laughing Too Loudly 06 Mar 2006 09:55 #12319

  • ShyGrl2408
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If she knows he has this problem them maybe she should also try to be a little more understanding to the people around her. To be prepared that something like that may happen. Not that he shouldn't go to the movies, but not be surprised when complaints are made.

Or maybe the manager could work out special showing times for them.(I know finances plays a part in that too.)
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Re: Disabled Teen Kicked Out Of Theater For Laughing Too Loudly 07 Mar 2006 19:48 #12320

I would say shame on the complaining patrons; unfortunately, the management didn't have much choice but to address several complaints from their guests. I have attended one live show and one film where there was a disabled person laughing or exclaiming out loud and I ignored it and , if anything thought is was wonderful they were enjoying themselves.

As I said in my first post here, I have been in the business 10 years and never reaped a penny from it. My payment is helping my friends who own/manage them, helping a historic theater exist AND WATCHING THE JOY OF MY PATRONS TO BE AT THE MOVIES.

Tony H.
Tony H.
Colorado Film/Theater God
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Re: Disabled Teen Kicked Out Of Theater For Laughing Too Loudly 08 Mar 2006 10:19 #12321

  • jimor
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No, it should NOT be "Shame on the complaining patrons." They too paid to both see and hear the presentation for enjoyment and not as some competition to see whose ears are more immune to the interefering noises. Yes, we all sympathize with the disabeled among us, but we must not go to the extreme of tolerating and excusing all disturbances they create; the MAJORITY has the overiding right as it must in any free society.

Often looking at the extreme will help us keep a matter in perspective: If a disabeled one demanded service at a restaurant but had the little annoyance of regularly and suddenly vomiting up what he had just eaten, shouldn't the other diners be expected to be revolted and complain? There IS such a disability, and it happens beyond vcontrol before anyone could get to a restroom, but should the poor guy be permitted to patronize public places with such a condition? Suppose he insists upon patronizing the same restaurant regularly -- how long could they expect to have other patrons?! Health concerns aside, tolerence for such behavior would quickly cause sympathy to become outrage over the 'Rights' of one individual being placed above those of the majority, not to mention the owner of the private property. Laws my exist to prevent denial of service by race or color, but this does not cause loss of value to other patrons, whereas the examples we consider here do.

There are reasonable limits to which society can bend over to accomodate the disadvantaged before the reasonable limit is passed and the majority is then expected to suffer just like the disabeled one, and that becomes what sociologists call a Tyrany Of The Minority. Once a society becomes so spineless as to let this situation prevail, it will deserve all the pains it will then suffer under such tyrany.

It is not as though one so disabeled as to make uncontrolable noise could never see a movie; he could view them privately as (dare I say it?) DVDs, and disturb no one. You say we should have pitty since the episodes are infrequent. Should we also then pass a law saying that the operator MUST refund the admissions of all other patrons affected so as to be fair to disturbed patrons? How long would an operator who became a favorite of such a disabeled one stay in business? And if he closed due to this, what prevents the disabeled one from going to the next cinema and continuing his disruptive conduct until that location closes?! We are already forced to alter our private property to accomodate wheelchairs wherever the disabeled wants them placed, at great cost to many cinemas. How long before operators are required to install special optics screens for the visually impaired? Specialized audio compensating (louder or softer, ear by ear) headphones on demand (and how many of them will inevitably walk out with the patrons!)? How long before some liberal court judge finds that seating is too cold or too warm or too uncomfortable and theatres are ordered to install special Cool Rooms or Warm Rooms or a selection of different style seats to accomodate all body conditions of the disabeled? You see, there must be a reasonable end to catering to the outrageous demands of the few to take away the rights of the majority. In this case, NATO will be of no help because they too exist in a state of fear of the liberal courts which themselves know that the cinema industry is too small to make up an electorate that could unseat it over this 'Us verses Them' issue. It all comes down to political power in the end -- and who can BUY the most of it.
Jim R. (new E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) member: www.HistoricTheatres.org
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Re: Disabled Teen Kicked Out Of Theater For Laughing Too Loudly 09 Mar 2006 09:56 #12322

  • poppajoe
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This is a hard call to make. Though the teen is disabled that should not be a reason to bar him from your theatre. So, that being said, I guess you treat him just the same as you would any one else. I don't think a special showing is the answer. If his laughing becomes an issue, I my guess is that he would have to leave.
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