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The Eagle

The movie theater curfew is too early

The curfew at local theaters is 6 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays for people 16 and below
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      Picture this: You and your friends want to go see a movie at the local movie theater on a Saturday night. The earliest showing is at 6:45 p.m., so you and your friends decide to go watch the movie. When you arrive they ask for your ID, and when they realize you aren’t 17 years old, they kick you out of the theater and you don’t get to see the movie.

     With the curfew of Canton’s local Cinemark movie theaters, Tinseltown and The Bistro, being at 6 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, which are prime times for teenagers to go to the movies, high school students have been going to movie theaters less and less over time.

     While teen statistics are not tracked, overall viewership of movie theatres is down.   According to Comscore domestic box office revenue between Jan. 1 and Feb. 25 of this year is tracking 18% lower than it was during the same time last year,

     Junior Charlie Shaffer went to the movies with a few of his friends, but it was after the 6 p.m. curfew. They ended up getting told to leave and come back with a parent, which they did. Though they brought a parent, the parent was just going to go in with them and then leave. The movie theater employees realized this and the group ended up getting kicked out again.

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     “(The curfew) affects my ability to go to the theater because I can’t see a movie past 6 o’clock on a Friday or Saturday, and those are the only days I want to see movies,” Shaffer said.

     Students have run into encounters where they were just trying to watch a movie and they were kicked out and told to bring a parent with them if they wanted to come watch the movie. With parent’s busy schedules, a lot of them do not have time to watch a 2 hour movie that they didn’t even want to watch in the first place.

     “One time I got turned around (was not allowed to enter the theatre) trying to watch a movie and I had to call my dad to come back, he dropped me off at the movies, and I’m 16 at the time, I called him and he had to come back, buy a ticket, and then watch the movie that he didn’t want to watch with me.” senior Angie Akins said.

     Cinemark seems to have instated this curfew due to the rising amount of teenage violence in after the reopening in 2021. Though this may have been a prevalent issue, this has no longer been the case. There have been almost no incidents of teen violence at local movie theatres.

     Having a curfew would make sense, but it is a problem that it is so early in the day and the specific days that it is enforced. The curfew limits teenage moviegoers from being able to watch movies with their friends. Curfews also prohibits teens from making it a habit to go to the movies; therefore, teens could be less likely to go to movies later on. 

     Overall, the curfew definitely needs to be revised. The curfew should be later in the day or erased entirely, so that teenagers have more opportunity to watch movies and hangout with their friends.



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Grayson Sampson
Grayson Sampson, Podcast Editor
Grayson Sampson (he/him) is a junior. This is his second year on staff. He likes to play basketball in his free time. He has a double-jointed thumb.
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