updated 31 May 2011, 00:28
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Tue, Mar 29, 2011
The New Paper
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Babies, toddlers welcome at cinema
by Jennifer Dhanaraj

FOR parents of babies and toddlers, the cinema is the last thing you place think of when heading out.

Movie-lover Jaslyn Wee, 29, has avoided going to the movies since the birth of her eight-month old son, Kwan Yu Jie.

She is unwilling to leave his side. But she is also aware that taking him to a cinema would disturb the other patrons .

So she was excited about Golden Village Multiplex's special movie screenings for parents and their babies and toddlers.

Known as Mums & Babies, the special screenings kicked off on Feb 15 with the animated feature Yogi Bear at GV Grand at Great World City and GV Plaza at Plaza Singapura.

Mums & Babies, which screens children's classics and kid-friendly movies, will be held on selected dates and will run till May.

Despite the programme being named Mums & Babies, it is also open to dads and members of the public who do not mind active toddlers running around the theatre.

This family-friendly initiative provides a conducive environment for movie-going parents with babies and toddlers in tow.

"There were diaper-changing stations set up, so it was very convenient for me and my son," said Ms Wee, who attended the inaugural screening on Feb 15.

There was one diaper table at the back of the hall, and had essentials like baby wipes, baby powder and lotion, all free for the parents to use.

Instead of the usual pitch darkness in the cinema hall, there was dim lighting during the screening, so that kids could walk around the hall under their parents' supervision.

Volume lowered

The volume was also lowered to suit babies' sensitive hearing.

Another parent who took leave to spend some time with his kids at this special screening was customer relations management consultant Andy Lee.

The 37-year-old father of four and his wife took their two oldest sons, aged six and eight, to the screening of Gulliver's Travels on March 1.

He usually doesn't take them to the cinema because he is afraid his sons would bother other patrons in the cinema hall.

Mr Lee, who has a parenting blog, said: "If I take them to a normal screening, the patrons will not be expecting screaming kids who are running around.

"But with the Mums & Babies screenings, the other patrons have lower expectations, and so they expect to see kids running around," he added.

Other parents like 29-year-old customer service officer Noor Azlin Abdul Rahman lamented that she can hardly go out for movies with her children, especially with her eight-month old son.

"Children usually have a short attention span, so it is difficult to make them sit still and watch the movie," said Ms Azlin.

And going to movies was completely out of the question until she heard about the Mums & Babies screenings.

She said she intends to go for future screenings, with the next one scheduled to take place on Tuesday, when Letters To Juliet, starring Amanda Seyfried, will be screened.

Golden Village Multiplex is not the only family-centric cinema .

Cathay Cineplexes also has a programme for young families. Mom 'N' Tots is a programme that allows parents to take their children who are below the age of seven to weekday screenings of movies rated G and PG that are before 2pm.

Mr Lee says that such programmes are good because they facilitate bonding time with his family.

He said: "I will definitely attend another screening soon if I can take leave."


WHAT: Mums & Babies's screening of Letters To Juliet

WHERE: GV Grand at Great World City and GV Plaza at Plaza Singapura

WHEN: Tuesday, March 29

TIME: 11am

TICKET PRICE: $6 each. Free for babies and toddlers below 90cm

This article was first published in The New Paper.

readers' comments
Probably suits the homemakers better as working couples need to take leave to enjoy. Good move though. Should consider weekends early morning shows instead on weekdays.
Posted by mystrawberry on Tue, 29 Mar 2011 at 15:50 PM

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