‘17 after 7:30′: Movie theater’s policy prevents teens from buying tickets at night

A Virginia movie theater has launched a new policy preventing teens from buying tickets after 7:30 p.m.
Published: Mar. 6, 2023 at 2:23 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT/Gray News) - A Virginia movie theater put a new policy into effect this past weekend that prevents moviegoers under the age of 17 from buying a ticket after 7:30 p.m.

The policy was in effect as of Friday at Movieland in Virginia. Bowtie Cinemas, which owns the theater, announced the new curfew last Monday.

Anyone wanting to buy a ticket after 7:30 p.m. is now required to show their ID.

The policy has drawn criticism from some patrons.

“That’s a shame. Why can’t we let kids be kids?” one moviegoer said as they were getting ready to watch “Creed III.”

Joseph Masher, with Bowtie management, told WWBT the change was made based on customer feedback.

“It will be a more enjoyable movie-going experience for adults so they can enjoy the show without having a family running around, kids running around or getting up and down and all that kind of stuff, so it’s just a more mature movie-going environment, and we think our guests deserve it, and they’ve asked for it,” Masher said.

Masher said no single incident triggered this decision, but the idea is popular in cities across the country.

Those looking to buy a large popcorn and soda Friday night said they couldn’t help but think about the time when they were kids going to the movies.

“I think it’s a little unfair. I remember when I was in high school, one of the top things to do on a Friday or Saturday night is to go out and see a movie with your friends,” one moviegoer told WWBT. “This kind of limits what you can do when you’re a teenager.”

Others said they’re not behind the change because being able to watch a movie on a Friday night with your family is a part of the movie-going experience.

“No, not at all. I mean, I like seeing the movie theater packed. Kids are part of it,” one person said.

Movieland said it would schedule more family movies earlier in the evening to conform with the new policy.