Saturday, March 22, 2008

Loew Down Blues

I took my daughter to see 'the Spiderwick Chronicles' today. I have seen this movie once already, when I took both her and a couple of her friends to see it. All of them are developmentally delayed, would need both a ride to the movie (and home again), and assistance with all the little details of movie-going. This was a Loew's theater.

I felt it appropriate to ask for a caregiver pass. After all, when I took the three to a Regal theater to see this previously, said Regal theater had no problem giving me a pass.

Loew's flat out refuses, as does AMC, according to the manager.. "This is a corporate policy", the manager told me. I asked the manager if he realized that this is a poor economic policy for this movie chain. in addition to the fact that it discriminates against handicapped individuals. There are times when I bring as many as ten developmentally delayed individuals to the movies. That is TEN paying customers who would have been unable to attend if they were unescorted. I usually bring at least three or four.

That leaves alone the fact that folks who are dd are usually economically disadvantaged. If they have to pay for themselves and their staff (in most cases it is staff) person who accompanies them, most could not afford it. This would have the effect of barring them from participating in a recreation that our society prizes highly.

Perhaps Loew's just 'doesn't like their kind'. As we were leaving the theater today, I saw a person going in with a service dog. I wondered if they charged the service dog...after all, it's the same exact thing. Perhaps Loew's feels that I (as a staff or care giver) am benefiting from seeing the movie in a way that a dog could not. Most of the time, I'm in and out of the theater as people have needs that need to be met (refreshments, maybe someone needs the bathroom). And believe me, after I attended Spy Kids 3 (completed with 3-d glasses) for the third time, I felt that I was undergoing torture...paying for the privilege would have added insult to injury. Thank you Regal, for giving me a care-giver pass.

Dear Loew's: Those three viewings of Spy Kids 3 brought Regal Theaters no less than 30 PAYING CUSTOMERS. Your corporate policy is economically wrong-headed in the extreme.

PS. I'm a considerate utilizer of the ADA act. I never ask for a pass on the opening weekend, especially for movies that could easily sell out the theater. I'm not there to lose money for the theater or get a freebie for myself.