Special needs girl kicked out of movie theater for laughing, mom says

A mother in La Puente, Calif., claimed her family was kicked out of an AMC movie theater in Industry because of her special-needs daughter’s laughter.

The Schreurs family took 10-year-old Destiny to see “The Fault in Our Stars” at the AMC Puente Hills 20 on Monday night.

About 20 minutes into the film, Marji Schreurs said family members were approached by a theater employee who asked them to keep the girl quiet.

“She wasn’t screaming,” Schreurs said. “She wasn’t having a meltdown. She was laughing.”

After exchanging words with the manager, Schreurs said the family was asked to leave.

AMC Theatres’ spokesman Ryan Noonan issued a statement to KTLA regarding the incident.

“On Monday evening, a theatre manager received complaints from two guests about disruptive behavior during a movie. The manager stepped into the auditorium to observe the situation, identified prolonged disruptive behavior, waited to see if the behavior would cease, and when it did not, approached the guests. The manager explained our policy about making noise that disrupts others during the movie. At that time the guest asked for a refund, which was provided.”

Family members believed Destiny was treated unfairly.

“She deserves to be able to laugh just like anybody else,” Schreurs said.

TM & © 2014 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

15 comments

  • Terry

    Yes she does deserve to be able to laugh like anyone else…. at home!! Many people treat movie theaters like their living rooms. When my daughter was young I attempted to see Spiderman (2001)with her she cried during the preview of Scooby Doo. I realized I made a mistake and left before the movie started. As parents it is our responsibility to direct and access our childre’ s behavior in public places, not the responsibility of the public to accept their behavior. Might there be a movie more appropriate for a young child with special needs to see in the theater than a teenage drama? probably.

  • Lynn Guss

    The Fault in Our Stars is rated PG13 and meant for older teens and adults, so a young child, whether special needs or not, really shouldn’t be there. Don’t bring your kids to a movie meant for grownups.

  • Lisa

    SORRY LADY BUT IF YOUR DAUGHTERS LAUGHTER WAS MAKING IT UNCOMFORTABLE OR INPOSSIBLE FOR OTHERS TO ENJOY THE MOVIE THEN YOU SHOULD HAVE LEFT WITHOUT BEING TOLD TO..SOME PEOPLE JUST DONT HAVE CONSIDERATION FOR OTHER,WHAT A SELFISH WOMAN!!!

  • Luke

    Really aggravates me when adults bring kids into movies that are clearly not for kids! I don’t care what kind of kid they are, this movie IS NOT FOR KIDS! Get over yourself mom and stop pulling out the “special needs” card whenever you feel like it. Give me a break, they did not single your kid out because she was special needs, it’s because she was in a PG 13 rated movie and your kid is disturbing the other paying movie goers, which would piss me off also, it is not because she is “special needs.” If you can’t get a babysitter for your child, then DON’T GO TO PG+ OR R MOVIES WITH YOUR KIDS! Rent a frickin’ DVD or go to a KIDS MOVIE!

  • Tina Andersen

    In this case I would be on both sides. In one way the girl should be allowed to see the movie because she couldn’t help but be herself and she couldn’t help but laugh, but in the other hand, it would be wrong to have to hear laughing instead of crying when going to see this emotional movie. With that said, I don’t know which side I am more lending towards, the girl or the other movie goers.

  • Tina Andersen

    I get what all of you guys are saying. She was a kid and this is a teen movie, but after reading all four of your replies for this story, I believe that all four of you are being a little to hard of the little girl! You might want to tone it down a little bit!

    • kerry

      They aren’t being hard on the little girl, she didn’t get int he car, drive herself to the movies, buy a ticket for a PG-13 movie(which at her age she wouldn’t be able to do anyway), they are pointing out the lack of common courtesy of the parents for the other movie goers. Yes their daughter is special needs, but that does NOT mean that her wishes and want, or that of her parents are more important than anyone else’s who may be there. I took my 3 year old to see a kids movie, and she was being more vocal that was acceptable, so I took her out, as a good parent should. The manager did exactly the right thing, he got complaints, and instead of just jumping on the people pointed out as the problem, she observed them and found them really to be a problem, and then asked them to leave, giving their money back.

  • Carrie

    Just another situation where a greedy family is trying to get paid based on the misfortune of one of its members. Betcha they had a lawyer contact AMC. Shameful!

    • michelle

      Exactly. It’s so disgusting how people will use their children like this even though the mother had no respect for the audience watching the movie. Don’t throw out the special needs card because any kid that age can be crying or yelling in the theatre but most parents have the decency to leave. Who takes a child that age to a movie like that anyways?

  • Sad World

    I can see both sides, however, most movie theaters have special days during the week for audiences with special needs. Both sides are at fault.

  • Kate

    YOU take your special needs daughter to a PG-13 movie at night and she is disruptive to the other movie patrons and YOU are upset? She does NOT belong there. You wanted to see the movie, but you DIDN’T want to pay a babysitter. You SHOULD have brought her to an early show or to a more age appropriate movie. I WOULD have complained to management because YOU clearly made the movie UNBEARABLE for others who understood it was a teenage drama. Now YOU want to complain publicly for sympathy and perhaps free movies for a year because YOU had to leave the theater with your refund. What about the other patrons who were forced to listen to YOUR daughter’s inappropriate laughter during a serious movie? They didn’t get their money refunded. Shame on you for trying to publicly humiliate an AMC movie theater. Next time, use common sense when taking your SPECIAL needs daughter to a movie at NIGHT – that must only mean you deliberately CHOSE a screening after dinner.

  • debs

    That movie is not a movie one laughs during…..so the laughing was inappropriate and it sounds like it was very loud. If i paid my $15 to see a movie that was about a girl dying of cancer, I don’t want to hear a consistant “laughing” at a decibel level that was really loud. Special needs or not, you have to respect others and if the laughing was disruptive, especially since this is a very heavy movie subject, no one should be laughing.

  • Lisa Habig

    She has the right to laugh but this is an emotional movie. It’s not meant to be funny. Sounds to me like the mom is just looking for a quick buck. Special needs or not, kids need to be QUIET in the theater and if they cannot, take them home. Period.

  • samantha horner

    This is so stupid I can’t believe it’s news worthy. That movie was not appropriate to bring any child that age to. I think any child that was being disruptive would have been asked to leave. I think the mother is so out of line here it’s ridiculous. Especially because it sounds like the parents know this is an issue for their daughter. This is not a discrimination issue, its a stupid parent issue.

  • Charles Wild

    I am very angry at AMC Theatres (for other issues), but here I APPLAUD them for doing the right thing. What a selfish Mom, teaching her kids to be selfish.

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