A mother claims her daughter’s 12th birthday party at Cineworld was ruined by one rule.
Jennie Watkins says staff at the cinema refused to let her girl into a 12A rated film because she wasn’t carrying ID to prove her age.
The mother has asked ‘which 12-year-old has an ID card’ and warned other parents about reading the small print.
Jennie says she was dropping off her child and two friends at the cinema for her birthday where they were going to watch new Hollywood blockbuster Alita.
But just after she dropped off the group, her daughter phoned to say they weren’t allowed in because she didn’t have anything with her to prove her age.
The councillor also claims senior staff laughed in her face after she complained to managers, Gloucestershire Live reports.
Jennie, who lives in Gloucester, criticised the company on social media.
She tweeted: “Let’s not try keep this low key on messenger. Apparently according to your team leader today, all 12-year-olds without passports can and should carry an ID card to watch a 12a film.
"My word as parent is not good enough. I’m clearly not telling the truth. Today is her birthday.”
Jennie claimed she "had to tell [the manager] to stop smiling at me whilst I was talking.
"He’s ruined my daughter’s 12th birthday and thought it was funny."
Speaking to Gloucestershire Live, she continued: "We’d made arrangements with the other parents, we watched the trailer for the film, thought it was appropriate for her and her friends to watch.
"It’s a bit disappointing that he wasn’t willing to let her in.
"I was telling him I’m her parent, I’m a reasonable adult. I was telling him they’re 12, they’re OK to watch the film.
"To go and get them an ID card I just think it’s a very unreasonable thing to do. What 12-year-old has an ID card?"
The 12A rating means a child under the age of 12 could see it if they are accompanied by an adult.
Jennie said management suggested she watched the film with her daughter and friends, but this offer was rejected because the film had already started and the children wanted to see it by themselves.
A voucher for three child cinema tickets to see the film was offered and accepted by the mother.
Jennie also does accept she she should have checked her daughter was allowed into the cinema.
She said: “In hindsight, I should have done that to make sure that they should have got in.
"They referred me to the firm’s Terms and Conditions, but how many people read the Terms and Conditions?
“I didn’t realise how strict they were going to be.”
A spokesman for Cineworld said: “In line with the BBFC age classification, we reserve the right to ask for photo ID verifying the age of any customer wishing to watch 12A, 15 and 18 certificated films.
“If a customer is unable to provide ID when asked, we are required by law to refuse admission to that film.
“Photocopies of birth certificates, (together with a form of photographic identification connecting the name on the birth certificate to the customer), passports and driving licences are acceptable.”
A statement on its website reads: “Cineworld will refuse admission to any person who, in the opinion of an authorised Cineworld employee or representative, is under the minimum age required by the BBFC or IFCO classification for a presentation and cannot prove that they are at least the minimum age required.
“Cineworld expressly reserves the right to request photographic identification verifying the age of the customer (e.g. a driving licence or passport) for entry into 12A, 15, 15A, 16 and 18 certificated films.
“Photocopies of birth certificates, (together with a form of photographic identification connecting the name on the birth certificate to the customer), passports and driving licences are acceptable.
"Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by someone who is at least 18 years of age to be admitted after 7pm.
“Children under the age of eight must be accompanied by someone who is at least 18 years of age at all times (regardless of film classification).”
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