Families buying tickets for the cinema at Ibn Batuta mall. Grand Theatres are banning children from all cinemas and megaplexes across the UAE after 7pm. Image for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Oliver Clarke/Xpress

Dubai Grand Cinemas has banned children under five years from attending film shows after 7pm, XPRESS can reveal.

Children below five years are not allowed to watch any movie (even G-rated films) in the evening in any of Grand Cinemas’ 23 Megaplexes and 180  screens across the UAE.

A notice placed in front of Ibn Batuta’s Grand Megaplex, forewarned movie goers: “Any children under the age of 5 years are not allowed after 7pm even for the General (G) rated movies with the exception of animated movies (Internal Policy)."

Andy Fordham, Technical & Digital Cinemas Project Director, Grand Cinemas told XPRESS this company-wide policy had been there for a while, but people tend to flout the rules. “We recommend families take their children below five to movies with approved ratings before 7pm as after this time, it is a whole new environment at the movie theatres. Sometimes we get complaints of children making noise in the theatres and therefore recommend parents to adhere to this.”

Fordham said: “There are times when we have to stop people from getting their children to halls late in the evening. From a medical perspective, it is not advisable to expose infants to loud sounds.”

Meanwhile, the multiplex has also begun asking for ID proof from teens for 15+ and 18 + films.

“Children and teenagers always try and get into 15+ and 18+ movies and say they left their IDs at home. Hence, if we are unsure of anyone's age in relation to their eligibility to watch a movie, we ask for photo ID with proof of age at the ticket counters,” said Fordham.
Indian Vanathi Mohanakrishnan welcomed the policy. “My son who is three years old is yet to see a movie in a theatre. I do not want to take him to a film in a theatre until he gets a better understanding of what movies are all about. With high audible sounds and children becoming tired towards evening, they can make a lot of noise.  It is best to keep them away from movies at that time.”

Pakistani Razia Kader on the other hand said her two children aged 3+ and 2+ love to watch Bollywood films in cinema halls. “Having said that, children normally get restless towards evening and it is best to avoid taking them after 7pm into a theatre.