Scott’s Addition is now home to a thriving neighborhood of breweries, bars and game entertainment venues that cater to an adult crowd. River City Roll, a Scott’s Addition bowling alley, implements a similar policy, where bowling is restricted to 21 and over nightly after 7 p.m.
Masher said Bow Tie received several dozen requests for the new 17 after 7:30 p.m. policy.
“As an independent movie house, we often respond to the requests of our guests. When we opened, we offered beer and wine, but after many requests, we upgraded to a full bar,” Masher said. Guests also requested reserved seating, which Movieland implemented.
Movieland is owned by Bow Tie Management, which operates eight theaters with locations in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Colorado.
Movieland at Boulevard Square, however, is currently the only Bow Tie movie theater instituting the 17 after 7:30 p.m. policy.
The new policy has already drawn a wide variety of responses from Richmond-area residents, both for and against it.
“It doesn’t affect me directly [my kid is grown], but it’ll be nice to attend a later show without any teens,” said Jerry Williams, creator of “The Dirtwoman Documentary.” A film reviewer, Williams also currently creates a podcast called Sifter that highlights movies and TV shows. “It’s great that Bow Tie is taking this stand to keep the theaters (and sometimes the parking lot) free from teens who have left their movie and are killing time before their parents pick them up.”
“As a parent with teenagers who like to do things with me, this new policy will make Movieland one less place we can go for a fun evening out,” said Angela Bishop, who lives in North Chesterfield. “But hopefully it works for them.”
The multiscreen Movieland complex opened in February 2009 to much fanfare, being the first new movie theater in the city of Richmond in 15 years.
Other chain movie theaters in the area like Regal, which operates Regal Short Pump and Regal West Tower, do not have similar age restrictions.
At CineBistro at Stony Point, a dine-in theater owned by CMX Cinemas, guests under 18 must be accompanied by an adult for movies starting at 8 p.m. Also, non-family films after 8 p.m. are restricted to ages 21 and over only.
Alamo Drafthouse, a dine-in theater with a location in Charlottesville, does not allow minors under age 18 into theaters unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.
A Chick-fil-A in Pennsylvania recently instituted a rule banning those under the age of 16 from dining in the restaurant without an adult.
“Often on Saturdays and days when schools are off, we have school-age children visiting the restaurant without their parents … While we love being a community restaurant and serving guests of all ages, some issues need to be addressed,” the restaurant posted to Facebook last week.
The restaurant cited explicit language and loud conversations, mistreatment of property and disrespect of employees.
Movieland has not encountered any issues with young people behaving inappropriately, Masher said.
Rather, he said, “Listening to our guests is the best way to go right now. They want to have a more adult experience.”