Minors and R-rated movies

Megan Behnke, Staff Writer

Recently, I was working at one of my normal Monday night closing-shifts in the concession stands at the Palace Cinema in Sun Prairie. Seeing that it was a slow night, I was talking to one of my friends, who also works at the theater, standing next to the vending stand, seeing that she had the day off. A teenager then walks up to her, and asks her to sign him into an R-Rated movie. She told him that she works at the theater and it was against policy to have some random adult sign a minor into the movie. He gets upset and starts asking more customers to do the same thing, ultimately walking up to box office only to be thrown out for disturbing customers.

Having worked for Marcus Theatres for two years now, I’ve experienced first-hand so many times minors sneaking into R-rated films or trying to buy tickets to an R-rated film. Whether their parent bought the tickets but did not sign them in to see the movie, one person being 17 but the other younger, people buying tickets to one movie then trying to sneak into another one, asking random adults to sign them in.

Some people are nice about the fact they can’t see the movie because they aren’t old enough or don’t have their IDs on them, others….not so much.

Ever since “Conjuring 2” came out over the summer, we’ve had to buckle down on R-Rated movies. At every showing, we have to have one usher stand outside the theater, checking tickets and/or IDs. We have to stamp tickets if we check IDs. Give out wristbands if a parent or guardian is signing them in.

It’s a little ridiculous. Obviously kids should know that they aren’t old enough to see an R-Rated movie. Sometimes they’ll be turned away at box office then head over to one of the kiosks and buy tickets from there. Then we have to walkie whoever is ticket ripping and tell them to not let the kids in and they’d have to get a refund. Kids might find it annoying when they can’t get into an R-Rated movie but it’s even more annoying for the employees, and sometimes customers, to have to deal with them.

We are not their parents. We are not their babysitters. They should know when they can and cannot see a movie. They need to either come with a parent or have a parent sign them in. Simple enough. We only work there. We don’t make the rules.

And frankly, if someone is acting so immature about not seeing a movie, they shouldn’t be seeing it at all. I even had to do a refund not that long ago for two teenagers who bought tickets for “Blair Witch” but weren’t old enough to see the movie. One of them just slams her credit card onto the counter because she was all upset. It’s not my fault she’s not old enough to see it. Don’t get mad at the employees for just doing their jobs.