"Adults only" takes on new meaning in Kerasotes pilot program

Nick Rogers

Some potentially Superbad news for teens on a date or out with friends at a late-night weekend movie: If you’re under 17, make room for Mom or Dad — even if it’s a G-rated title.

Starting Friday, all Kerasotes Theatres locations in Springfield will take part in the chain’s test of “Adult Friendly Shows.” The program limits child admissions at Friday and Saturday late shows.

Regardless of a film’s rating, all shows scheduled at 9 p.m. or later on Fridays and Saturdays at Parkway Pointe, ShowPlace East 8, ShowPlace West 12 and White Oaks will be designated for those 17 years or older.

Children between the ages of 7 and 16 will be admitted only if a parent attends and sits with them during the film. Children 7 and younger won’t be admitted at all. Identification will be required.

Danville is Kerasotes’ only other Illinois location taking part in the test, with theaters in Colorado and Indiana also included.

Clair Malo, Kerasotes’ director of marketing, says the Adult Friendly Shows program is being considered because of customer suggestions and as an evolution of its Matinee Movie Magic program, which offers baby-friendly matinee screenings for parents locally at ShowPlace East 8.

“People enjoy being able to see a first-run film in a baby-friendly environment,” Malo said. “On the other hand, we had people coming to those with little ones who said they’d like to be able to see a film without their babies, or anyone else’s babies.”

Kerasotes’ current parental-involvement policy applies only to R-rated films (such as the currently popular "Superbad"). Even then, parents need only consent to their children younger than 17 attending such movies -- not attend and sit with them.

Malo hopes the program fosters family outings that promote good theater decorum. But should anyone feel the Adult Friendly Shows program might be inappropriate for children under 17, the company wants feedback on its Web site (www.kerasotes.com/comments.aspx).

“If you love it, please let us know, and if you don’t love it, or have further suggestions for us, please let us know,” Malo said.

Nick Rogers can be reached at 747-9587 or nick.rogers@sj-r.com. Read his blog at blogs.sj-r.com/unpaintedhuffhines.