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Lights, Camera, Action: Bay Area Movie Theaters That Cater to Kids

Venturing out to catch the latest kids’ releases on the Big Screen seems unthinkable with the company of little monkeys who love to climb and chatter, even as the plot unfolds. That’s why movie nights usually mean getting cozy in jammies and popping in a DVD while the kids wiggle around on the sofa.

But wait – the following kid-friendly movie theaters cater to the whole gang, with special screenings that include mommy-baby matinees and family nights showcasing a much-anticipated animated film or 3-D movie, with graphics and surround sound your living room just can’t offer. Get out for movie night and rest assured you won’t be the only family spilling popcorn on the floor!

Bringing Up Baby at the Rialto Cinema in El Cerrito
Baby-friendly nights at the Cerrito Theater are a hometown tradition. Once known as the “Baby Brigade,” this event spans back years, offering housebound parents caring for little ones a year old and under an opportunity to watch a new release and enjoy some pizza and salad in the comfy auditorium while the baby naps (hopefully). Bringing Up Baby takes place the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at 7:00 pm.

Moms and Babies Movie at the Presidio Theater in San Francisco
Not only is this event a great opportunity to meet other neighborhood parents and catch a new release – it’s also free. Thank local mothers and real estate professionals, Jill Russo and Lorianne Daluz, who spearheaded this monthly matinee showing in conjunction with the Presidio Theater. Moms and Babies Movie takes place the second Thursday of each month. Check the website the Tuesday prior for details.

Family Fun Night at Solano 2 Drive-In in Concord
Drive-in movies are not a thing of the past! They’re the perfect excursion for the whole family. Kids in the backseat can’t crawl down the theater aisles, and their chatter won’t disturb other moviegoers. Kids under 5 are free, and those under 10 are just $1.00. Not bad for a new release. Family fun nights take place on Tuesdays. And if you’re based in the South Bay, there’s a sister drive-in at West Wind Capital 6 in San Jose.

Baby Matinee at Vogue Theatre in San Francisco
“For cryin’ out loud, you can still go to the movies!” say the fun-lovin’ folks at the historic Vogue Theatre in San Francisco. Kids under 4 are free at this first and third Tuesday afternoon event.

Diaper Days and Nights at Camera Cinemas in Campbell
The Camera Cinemas offer new meaning to “diaper days,” with the latest kids’ releases at the forefront of this first and third-Wednesday event. Those who want to enjoy some nighttime fun may opt for Diaper Date Night instead, which includes two screenings per month on the first and fourth Tuesday. Kids under 4 are free!

–Renee Macalino Rutledge

photo courtesy of Unrealitymag

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