Published: Saturday, February 24, 2007
Under-17 crowd gives thumbs-down to new limits
By DENISE DICK
BOARDMAN Beginning next weekend, unaccompanied minors won't be able to watch "Unaccompanied Minors" or any other weekend movie at Cinemark Movies 8 in the Shops at Boardman Park.
A sign posted at the business says that beginning next Friday, children younger than 17 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian to see any movie after 6 p.m. on a Friday or Saturday. Be prepared to show I.D., the sign says.
"That stinks," said Kayla Diianni, 15, a sophomore at Boardman High School.
"I think it stinks, but it's probably a good thing because some weird people go there late at night," added her twin sister, Amanda.
The girls say they don't frequent the theater.
If there's a movie featured that she wants to see, Kayla says she'll still go, but she'll pick a different day rather than taking Mom or Dad.
"I think it's appropriate," said Samara Sutton, 16, another Boardman sophomore.
Samara's been at the theater when people standing near the concession stand have been loud and disruptive.
Her parents would be willing to go to a movie with her, she said.
Doesn't want her parents
Erin Brown, 15, a sophomore, says she understands the reason.
"But if I want to go out with my friends, I don't want my parent to come," she said.
At 18 and 17, respectively, seniors Jenna Buffa and Sarah Smith won't be affected by the policy change.
But they doubt its prospects for success.
"I don't think it's going to work," Jenna said.
She thinks the theater will lose business.
Sarah says there's good reasoning for it, but she's never seen any problems there. When she goes there, it's dead, she said.
"If you're 16 and you just got your driver's license, and you still have to have a parent to see a movie," Sarah said. "I don't think it's going to go over well at all."
Police Capt. Jerre Patterson said the theater's manager contacted him earlier this month after police responded to a call of a crowd of more than 100 juveniles in front of the business.
"He wanted to know what he could do," the captain said.
One of Patterson's suggestions was to prohibit juveniles from seeing movies without a parent or guardian on weekends.
He also suggested increased security.
A news release from Cinemark USA Inc. in Plano, Texas, says that the change is in response to "numerous customer requests for more supervision of exuberant, younger movie-goers especially during the more crowded weekend evening time period."
It says similar guidelines have been enacted at other Cinemark theaters.
"Parents or guardians must stay and watch the same movie with their child on those evenings," the news release said.
On Feb. 10, police were called to Movies 8 because of a large crowd of juveniles who had gathered in front of the business. The youths had been removed from a theater for rowdy and unruly behavior.
When police arrived, they saw a crowd of 80 to 100 kids, and several juvenile females began screaming, causing an altercation.
A 13-year-old township girl, accused of kicking both officers, was charged with assaulting the officers, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.
A police report says that the crowd closed in around the officers, attempting to interfere with the girl's arrest.
The girl's 15-year-old sister was charged with disorderly conduct after police said she refused to quit yelling and screaming after they ordered her to stop.