What age can kids go to a movie theater?

Moms to special needs children;

At what age did you take your child to the movie theatre ? My three year old won two movie tickets in school for outstanding overall attendance. I would love to take him to see Toy Story 4 when it releases this week but I’m kinda nervous. He doesn’t sit through a movie at home but did is slowly getting into movies. Any tips/advice? I do plan to take him to a matinee showing where there is less people.


It’s shouldn’t matter but there are ignorant people unfortunately I would do a day time showing earliest one. And some movie theaters have special needs days.

There’s more people at matinee where I’m from because it’s cheaper. My youngest has disabilities and took him when he was 2 I was more worried about it then I should’ve been he did real good!

Not sure if there is an AMC near you but they have sensory friendly films!


I took my son at the age of 4. My only advice besides agreeing to go during the day is get a huge popcorn and place your kid in between 2 adults that he knows. My son is super shy so if he doesn’t feel comfortable then it’s game over. Also if you are able to pick seats try getting in the row right behind the handicap seats in the middle so you don’t have to worry about someone tall blocking his view. My son has only been to the movies twice so far but it’s worked out so far. Plus it’s a kids movie so I’d hope people around you would be understanding.

I would also maybe take some noise cancelling head phones in case it’s a bit too loud for him. And for sure an early Saturday or Sunday showing when there are less people.

Take him to an early showing. Not to mention this is a kids movie so if someone gives you a hard time gently remind them that he’s 3 and if they would like quiet they can go to another movie :woman_shrugging:t3:

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I think a lot of three year olds probably won’t sit through a whole movie. Have him sit for as long as he can and if he wants to get up maybe take him to the lobby for a little while and then try to sit again for a little while.

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It’s like learning everything else —practice and experience. Go for it and enjoy!

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My son had ADHD it’s different when you go to the movies I think hell be fine. They get encaptured in it. At least my son did.

I took mine at 3. He didn’t sit but 1 hour in to and wanted to go but it wasn’t an animated movie. Then took him to see incredibles and he adorned it.

I took earmuffs for my son in case it was too loud. He got a bit rambunctious the first time but we went at a kid friendly time and to a kid friendly movie so I just figured that if you’re at a kids movie at 11 in the morning, you should know there will be kids there. I kept reminding him to whisper and to sit down when he got amped up. I say go and have fun!

Go to the first showing of the morning. There will not be a lot of people and there will likely be other young kids- with very understanding parents. Also, some places have “cry baby” shows that are specifically for young kids and they keep the lights on so it isn’t so dark.

I took my 10,4 and 2 yr old to see the new how to train your dragons. It was the littles first time at a theater and he did fine. He got up once and I took him by the door and told him it was locked and we couldn’t get out until the lights came back on so he had to be quiet and watch the show :flushed: It worked lol

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Ita aummer time and opening week is always packed i would suggest waiting a week and doing an early morning showing

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Maybe wait until it’s already been out for a few weeks and definitely take him during the day preferably during the week if you can.

Some theaters have kids day where it doesn’t matter as much if they get up and run around.
Call the theater and talk to the manager and explain and they may be able to help

Make sure to call ahead and see if they accept the passes the first week. Disney usually puts a week or 2 week restriction on using passes. Also, I’d suggest buying multiple snacks to keep him occupied. Most kids do decently well in animated films.

She was 2 or 3. Finding dory. As long as she had a drink and snacks and was able to get up and move a little bit, she was good.

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Go, try it out and if all else fails trying to calm and center him, just leave the movie.
At least he has the experience of going.

Also some theaters do special needs showings, I know ours does, its like once a week during the week. Call the theater and see when or if they do that.

Look for sensory friendly showings of it

Also if your child is like a lot of children with special needs they like to stay up so if you take him to the later showing most of the time no one will be in there but a bunch of teenagers who aren’t watching the show if u know what I mean so he won’t be bothering them if he does get excited and then when y’all get home he will probably go straight to sleep

It’s different when you go out. My daughter won’t sit for five mins to watch a movie at home. She seen her big sister in a play for school and did amazing so we brought her to the movies and she did really good as long as we had some snacks.

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Not until they can sit threw

The theaters where I live have “Cry rooms”. You call ahead of time and reserve it, tickets are a little more expensive, but then whoever you take with you, you all get that room to yourself to watch the movie. That way if your child doesnt sit still or something, it doesnt bother the others trying to watch the movie as well.

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We never took my daughter because of her seizures , my 6 year old went when she was 5 and fell asleep :joy:

My 2 year old does great! Make sure they have had a nap, and snacks! Good to go!!

My 3 yo son has autism, we take him to the earliest one and after it’s been out for at least 2 weeks. He does awesome this way we have tried going with him when it first comes out, way to much stimulation. Good luck we are going July 12th hopefully it will not be crazy still

I just started taking my six year old. She does okay usually I tried taking her earlier but it was a no go

Wait a week or so, sometimes some theaters have a special needs showing I’d look into that as well

Sit where there’s room to get up and stand without blocking others’ views. Buy snacks that might keep him still or a drink or his Locke or whatever. Take it all. My 3 yo does better at the theater than at home watching a movie, but he does move a lot. We sit on the very back row which provides more leg room and room for him to walk or sit in my lap or whatever.

For me i did based on when i thought they’d be ready to set in the place for that long. I still have 2 that hasn’t gone onea to young. There has been a time or 2 we had to leave but having a 2 nd adult helped

My oldest and i saw frozen as his first

I took my son a month or 2 ago, he’s 3. And I will probably wait a year until I try again. Not even half way through he started getting bored, wanted to watch a different show. Kept getting up. It was just stressful. I didn’t want to distract everyone else so we just left.

We sit it the top row, as my granddaughter, has verbal out burst and also gets excited and jumps up clapping. I figure that we are doing our best to keep from bothering others. Some theater s have sensory friendly shows. Noise is allowed, lights on low, its expected these kids WONT stay seated. Diet friendly snacks are allowed to be brought in.

First thing in the morning. Maybe sit in an area with not that money people …

Took my son at 2 didn’t work out, started again at 3 he loved it. He’s now 4 and we go all the time

See if they have a sensory screening at your theater. Ours does. Most kids have some kinda disability that attend them.

my only advice is to be calm, be kind to yourself, and be willing to leave early if needed. i took my son to see toy story 3 as his first movie (around the same age) and about 20 mins before the end he said - quite loudly - that he was done watching the movie. so instead of trying to get him to be quiet and stay, we left without a fuss. i’d say be ready to do that (without saying anything about missing the end), and just enjoy the part of the movie you saw.

also, talk to him before and explain what happens in the movie theater - it’s dark, the movie volume isn’t adjustable… if you have reserved seats, see if you can find out what time the actual movie starts and show up then. 20 minutes of previews doesn’t work with little guys!

First movie we took our 4 yo daughter and 2 yo son to see Peter Rabbit. We went around 1pm and they actually did ok. No crying yelling or talking loud and there were about 5 other people in the theater. Our chikdren never sit down or be quiet EVER so i was quite surprised that they watched the whole movie. Make sure you got snacks tho

We have taken our 2 year old 9 mo old. Sometimes its successful and other times it isn’t. If we take them we go with the flexibility to leave during the movie at any time if they start being distracting to other people.

Try to go to an SD/LU showing. Sound down / lights up. This is more for small children and helps with sensory overload too.