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Room 237 (Pearl)

A small portion of you may be aware that the movie theater in Pearl screens classic movies regularly. Just last weekend was The Shawshank Redemption.

This Tuesday night, it was The Shining.

Uncustomarily, I arrived 30 minutes early. So it was no bother when the people in front of me at the ticket booth waited till right then and there to decide which movie to see. They even changed their mind after finally deciding on one. But again, that was no bother and that is also not the point.

"One ticket for The Shining please," I said. I chose to sit in row B and assured the ticket lady that I was aware that it was very close to the screen. So I was all set. I viewed this movie several times before, and would not pass up on the opportunity to view it theatrically. There is a difference between viewing a movie and being immersed in it.

I appreciate you reading this far. I'm about to offer you a personal observation that I made which occurred in the movie theater. It was not only an inconvenience for me, but a thought-provoker. Read on, and let me know what you think.

The theater was not even half-full. Behind me, in the distance, I could detect some young adults. Other than that, an older couple chose to also immerse themselves by sitting in row b as I did.

The Shining, first released in 1980, rolls before my very eyes on the big screen once more. I finally get a better grip on what both the director and the actors were trying to convey. Money well spent. But just then, after about a third of the movie had passed, I could not believe my ears. Off in the distance, behind me, I detected the unfocused jabbering of a very young child. Several things went through my mind at once. Now, in case you are not already aware, The Shining is rated R, for several reasons. Yet, here is this child in the movie theater with me. It is a Tuesday evening, and this movie will conclude during the dead of night. The most obvious question is why is this child here? If I took the time to attempt to formulate a hypothesis or two, I suppose that I could then come up with a few reasons as to WHY. However, none of those reasons would still make it APPROPRIATE for this child to be here.

I can remember wanting to view movies that were rated PG-13, before I was 13. That particular rating calls for Parental Guidance, however the guidance I received from my mother was that I simply wasn't old enough. I know in my bones that this child behind me could not care less about viewing this movie. He or she was too busy exploring this new dark playground full of seats.

If you are reading this, and you haven't seen The Shining, I strongly suggest it. For those of you who have seen it, you know all too well that the main character Jack gradually descends into insanity and homicidal mania. The young adults in the theater often laughed at his decline. So now I'm dealing with unnecessary laughter coupled with a rampant child, the mother of which is now doing laps with him as he tries several times to exit the theater. There was only one point in the movie which I saw as humorous. Jack is having a conversation with a bartender who has been dead for decades. He is even drinking bourbon after all alcohol has been removed from the Overlook Hotel in which he is staying. When his young wife interrupts him and advises him that there is something terribly wrong with The Room 2 3 7, he asks her if she is out of her mind. I could see that as a chuckle moment.

But now Jack makes his way to room 237 to see just what all the fuss is about. For those of you who have seen the movie- would you want your young child present during this scene? Believe me, this particular child was present.

You can forget dragons and monsters. A father and husband who terrorizes his family with an axe within the confines of a hotel in which the three of them are the only people for miles, is flat-out scary. The things Jack says to his wife, and about his son, and the subsequent actions he takes against them- do not make for a good children's movie. Hence the rating system. Sure, for an R-rated feature, everyone under the age of 17 must have a parent or guardian present. But this child? I love children, but this was not at all appropriate. The parent being present does not make it all right.

It was not a ruined movie for me. There are several reasons why I choose to sit so close to the screen. It serves as a safeguard- all the disturbances are behind you- think about it.

At any rate, I'm currently thinking about setting up a playdate for several young children and parents. We're going to the movies. The movie?

RAMBO: LAST BLOOD
Rated R
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