Child Afraid of Movie Theater...

Updated on July 07, 2010
N.D. asks from Newark, OH
11 answers

My son will be 5yrs next week and went to the movies over the weekend to see Toy Story 3 and he totally freaked out. We prepared him of how loud it would be and that it would be dark. As soon as they began playing previews, he started screaming and crying. He refused to go back in and watch the movie. He said he was afraid of how loud it was. Has anyone else experienced this before?

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answers from New York on

I can't blame the poor guy, I went to see the movie and it was TOO loud. I read the other post and I am shame I didn't tought about bring plugs for my toddler :(
Maybe you can show him Toy Story 1 or 2 and then asking him if he wants to watch what happens next, but that the movie theater is very loud because there is people can't hear very well.

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answers from Honolulu on

Okay, my daughter is the SAME way.
She has been sensitive to noises since birth.
She is now 7, and can NOW tolerate the movie theater.
Until then, we did not make her go to the movies... she didn't want to.
She said its TOO loud.
It hurts her ears and she simply is sensitive to loudness and certain pitches.
No biggie.
I personally can't stand the loud volume in movie theaters myself.

Instead, my daughter prefers to watch the movies at home.

all the best,

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I'm sure your son is not the only one.

You may check with your local theaters to see if they have showings for kids with special needs. They keep the lights at a lighter dim and the sound is turned down.

You may also check to see if they do this for a kids day or something like that.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

We haven't, but I am not surprised. I often suggest if a child has never been to the movies to take a set of ear plugs just in case and all really small children should wear them.. Some movies really are too loud. .

Here in Austin, there are special screenings for children's movies that the theaters keep some of the the lights on and they turn down the sound..You have to go to the theaters website to find out the days and times..

I have also suggested parents speak with the theater manager about allowing a parent a child to go into a theater showing a movies just for a few minutes, so they can see how their child will react.

I hope you can convince your child to give it another try.. Also there are some people that a Theater is "sensory overload" for them. All of the people, the smells of the food, the darkness, the cold air conditioning and all of the lights on such a huge screen.. It is just too much for them to handle..

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answers from Atlanta on

My 4 year old loves the movies, but he will plug his ears -particularly in the beginning. I always look up to see where the speakers are located and try to sit away from them (but it's loud everywhere). Does he act like that about any other situations that are loud or involve his senses being inundated? Some kids have sensory issues and disorders that make them especially sensitive to such environments. There are ways to treat that, but you may want to ask his doctor or do some research on sensory processing disorders. It may also be a phase! How many other movies has he seen, or was this his first one?

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answers from Chicago on

My kids were like that and we would skip the trailers in the beginning of movies since they are louder than the movie itself. Also, try to sit away from one of the speakers so you are not right underneath. My 2 year old freaked out when we took her to a movie because it was so loud. The trailers scared her but the movie itself was fine.

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answers from Cleveland on

I think more people need to speak up about this. Those theaters are really too loud considering they have speakers all through it. There are lots of people who have sensory issues. Loud noises or bright lights bother them. I know at church sometimes I have to go out in the hallway because of the loudness. I wouldn't push your child to go back until he is ready but I would also ask the theater if they offer any movies at a lower decibel. I know I was invited to a movie once where they were doing that to accommodate folks who couldn't handle the loudness.



answers from Toledo on

My daughter used to be too. But outgrew it somewhere between 5 & 6 years of age (she will be 6 next month). Many kids do not like the dark and many others do not like loud noises. You put the two together and it can be a catastrophe! Maybe try a drive-in theatre next time instead (so you can control the volume). We have one in the Toledo/Oregon area, so I would be surprised if there was not one in the Columbus area. Personally, I took it as normal.



answers from Detroit on

Yes, my son had a similar experience last week, so you are not alone. I waited until my son was 5 before taking him to a "real" movie because I didn't think he was mature enough to handle it. My local theatre offers free movies early in the morning hours for this reason--to get little kids used to being in the theatre. Prior to last week, I took my son only one time during one of these morning showings and it was a disaster, but he was only 3 at that time, so I expected that to happen. My 15 year old daughter and I took my 5 year old son went to see his first real movie, Toy Story 3 in 3D. He cried and wanted to go home before the movie started. I calmed him down and pretty much told him to suck it up. Once the movie started, he was just fine, but when asked if he'd like to go see another movie, he says no. I think that some kids just are not mature enough to appreciate a movie, just like my son. If I were you, I'd wait until he's older or when he asks you to take him to see something that really interests him.




answers from Indianapolis on

I realize that theaters are so very loud, so you might try getting him some foam earplugs to minimize the impact of the volume...I am sure that he would still be able to hear the movie at a suitable level for fact, I think I might try the same thing the next time I go, because it bothers me too.



answers from Toledo on

My granddaughter is the same way. We solved it by taking earmuffs and putting them on her as soon as it started. She loves movies now. Sometimes she wears them the whole time-- sometimes she takes them off. They have soft,foam ones but she didn't like them in her ears.